We all know Negronis are fantastic. A single sip is like being caressed by Campari, before getting a big old hug from sweet vermouth. Followed by the giggles courtesy of our gal, gin. Whether you’re cooling down after a humid day or seeking continental sophistication, the Negroni delivers.
A cowboy Count invented it. Hemingway named his dog after it. And 100 odd years after its creation, the Negroni is still the second most-ordered cocktail in the world. Equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and the unmistakable bright-red Campari, it’s a bittersweet Italian aperitivo that transcends seasons. The Guardian crowned the Negroni as the cocktail of the year. So it’s no wonder that Dublin is brimming with this crimson elixir.
In 2013, “Negroni Week” burst onto the scene, becoming an annual celebration of this iconic cocktail while raising millions for charitable causes. With a century of history and a global following, the Negroni’s allure continues to grow.
Life is too short to drink bad cocktails. So with that in mind, these are the Negronis that always hit the mark of icy sweet-meets-bitter perfection.
Anyone who knows Char knows that we are unadulterated Sfuso fans. While we have waxed lyrical about their quintessential Italian food and wine before, we haven’t had the opportunity to tell you just how damn good their Negroni’s are. How could anywhere with such Italian charm not do a good negroni? As well as an expert classic and our mistress, the Negroni Sbagliato Sfuso also has a plum Campari version. It is divine and delightful in equal measure.
And they’re certainly no strangers to a bottle of Campari here. It adorns the walls as decor with bottles as big as small children punctuating the scenery. This place’s La Dolce Vita vibe is the ultimate good time negroni enabler. It makes you feel like you are on the Amalfi coast, living your dreams. Sfuso’s intimate setting makes it our favourite spot for a negroni-fuelled date night. Especially if you want to practice, your Italian.
This Vietnamese-style coffee Negroni is a twist on the coffee negroni called the ‘Ho Lee Fuk’. The Campari mix gets filtered through a traditional ‘phin’ filter and comes out ready to drink. The Phin takes ice-cold Campari and filters it through Robusta coffee. This slowly extracts a touch of coffee flavour and a buzz-worthy amount of caffeine as it percolates into your chilled glass resulting in a perfectly potent pour that’ll keep you effervescently awake.
The brightness of the coffee highlighted the fruitiness of the Campari and the coffee’s oily texture melded with the liquor and liqueurs. As with all great cocktails, it evolves to become more than the sum of its parts. That might make some Negroni traditionalists incredibly stressed, but trust us when we say it’s a mighty fine remix.
Three Story is a modern little neighbourhood bar but right in the centre of the city. It’s a spot that everyone should know about but thankfully for our last-minute Negroni needs, not everyone does. Their second story spritzeria is perfectly pitched for the Aperol Spritz devotees. But if you’re looking for quality Negroni then you shouldn’t pass her by.
Drinks consultant Gillian Boyle named this one of her top spots in the city in our Ultimate Guide to Dublin Cocktails. They offer the classic and a spagliatio both made with the same care and attention that every Negroni needs. Catch us nattering on the terrace Negroni in hand basking in the last of the September sun this Negroni Week.
Grano is known as being the best Italian restaurant in a very competitive category. So as such the Negronis here are reliably superb. If you fancy yourself as something of a connoisseur, then dabbling in some of the rarer vermouths here is a real treat. The Negronis here are simplicity at its finest: that tinkling sound of the ice cubes, one great slice of orange, and the delightful dash of ice keeping it chilled.
Although this place is first and foremost a restaurant the neighbouring wine bar, Afianco, is perfect for sipping while watching the people of Stoneybatter do their thing. They even have a walk-in table that they don’t take reservations for. So if you just want to pop in on a whim there’s hope.
When we say we have no notes for the Negroni here we mean it. No. Notes. None. It is perfection in a classic form. Zero funny business, zero stress. Just gin, Campari, vermouth, a sliver of orange peel, and a proper chunk of ice doing what it does best. The Negroni here is served in one of those ornate low-ball glasses. It’ll make you feel like you definitely finished reading that Samuel Becket novel everyone knows you started. This classy establishment has a long list of gins so you can select your favourite.
It’s also the perfect setting to dress for the occasion a Negroni deserves. Negronis want you to savour them like you’re living your main character moment. An abundance of tealights on the small mid-century modern tables with cozy chairs make it feel like you can really take your time and bask in the rose-tinted hew of a classic Negroni.
A seafood restaurant sounds like it would be a bonkers choice for a top-tier negroni in the city. But believe me, when I tell you it is a cannon level must experience. Traditionally the Negroni is often served before a meal in order to stimulate the appetite. So why not before a feed of top-notch sustainable Irish seafood? At Seafood Café they home make their own vermouth so you know the Negroni here is one-of-a-kind delicious.
This Negroni wants you to dance and sing and pose for indulgent selfies. It will make you so happy you forget to hold in your snort when you laugh. Chefs kiss.
Perhaps you have come to a complicated phase of your relationship with Negroni’s. The spark burnt bright but then you spent way too much time together and now you’re thinking about seeing other cocktails. If this, friends, sounds like you then it’s time to hit up 1661. Here their award-winning cocktail menu is packed full of big Negroni potential all week. There’s the OG classic Negroni, but if you’re looking for a riff, they provide enough variation to get you a little tickled pink under the collar. You can expect those giant ice cubes that ensure every single sip is chilled perfection and the kind of service that makes you feel like the Queen of Sheeba.
1661’s excellent classic Negroni will keep you coming back like a moth to a vermouth-soaked flame. In addition to gin, vermouth, and the Campari the cocktails here are made by the 2023 Campari Red Hands Champion. A single giant ice cube ensures it’s chilled without diluting the drink. The real key, though, is a dash of salt which is pretty undetectable but harmonises the bitter, earthy flavours. Making 1661 the perfect spot to reignite the Negroni flame, and fall in love all over again.
Critical intel for lazy Campari lovers everywhere: you can also order their raspberry Negroni from Craft Cocktails online and keep it in your fridge whenever you fancy it.
Please enjoy Campari responsibly.
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