Cartizze Negroni

Cartizze Negroni
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Cocktail trends come and go – one minute everyone’s all over rye; then people get passionate for pisco; the next moment Mezcal is all the rage.

But one cocktail that seems to currently be having a resurgence in popularity is the Negroni – and I for one couldn’t be happier.

Not that the negroni is a new drink – it’s been around since 1919, ever since Count Camillo Negroni wanted an extra-strong tipple. The amber coloured libation, made from equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari then garnished with orange peel, has been a favourite aperitif due to its wonderfully herbaceous, bitter and punchy flavours, and I’ve gone from acquiring a taste for them, to being a massive fan.

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So you can imagine my utmost delight when I learnt that one of my all time favourite bars in London, Cartizze, was accommodating all negroni fans out there by introducing a new Negroni Trolley in their gorgeous establishment. Designed to tempt drinkers with made-to-order negroni twists on the spot, the expert mixologists are offering a variety of options that show the true versatility of the drink.

For those that haven’t been to Cartizze well; you’re missing out. The stunning art-deco space embraces all the style and pizzazz of the Golden Age, complete with luxurious leather booths, glittering glassware, and dapper waiting bartenders. Yes, it’s a prosecco and bellini bar, but also so much more than that – as this little addition to the family has proven.

The trolley itself is a thing of beauty – vintage brass, gleaming with rosewood and glass, and cut-crystal classes just winking to be filled. So what types can one try?

We were greeted by Negroni maestro Eric, who began by asking us if we were accustomed with the drink. I said I was very partial, while my drinking partner admitted she was still getting used to the bitter, strong flavours. His advice – to start with a special floral version they’d invented, misted with orange blossom. A tiny flower even swirled in the stunning liquid. It was indeed the ideal introduction to a negroni – slightly sweeter, with a gorgeous fragrance delicate petals. The bitterness had been tempered too, which helped for those still getting used to Campari.

After this my friend graduated to the Graponi Negroni – the perfect summer drink, in fact. Made with Cointreau, Antica Formula, Campari, sugar syrup and then clarified grapefruit juice, its arrival was special in itself – served in a branded, old fashioned bottle, ready to be poured into the waiting glass. It was lighter, fizzy, with more of a lingering orange flavour – the kind of cocktail you want to sip while resting languorously on a rickety garden bench, in some secluded courtyard in Verona.

I went straight for the Cartizze Negroni – a barrel-aged delight that seemed to offer more rich, powerful complexity with each sip. I would say any negroni lover would be happy to cradle the cut-glass in their hand and savour the depth of the flame-coloured tipple.

And those that want a real treat should definitely try the Vintage Negroni. Costing a cool £50, it’s an exclusive blend of 1960’s Carpano Vermouth, Antica Formula and Martini Rosso.

So, whatever your preference, or indeed if you’re still getting used to the drink itself, Cartizze have the answer. There’s no better place to become re-acquainted with this awesome aperitif!


Written by Rebecca Milford

Posted: August 23, 2015

Rebecca is a cocktail connoisseur & fan of good nosh. A PR whizz with a gold medal in bar hopping, you can follow her on Twitter here.