We're in the middle of Negroni Week. What is Negroni Week? Yes, it's a weeklong celebration of the classic cocktail named the Negroni, but it is really much more than that.
It is the opportunity to give back to the community by donating $ 1.00 for each drink sold to a charity of the establishment's choice. How is this done? It's through sipping a most historic drink with an important metaphor. That is of healing.
From the website for Negroni Week:
Welcome to Negroni Week, presented by Imbibe and Campari!
Inspired in part by Douglas Derrick’s Negroni Social event at Nostrana in Portland, Oregon, and also by a collective love of the Negroni and giving back to the community, Imbibe launched Negroni Week, a celebration of one of the world’s great cocktails and an effort to raise money for charitable causes around the world.
From June 2-8, 2014, bars around the world will be mixing up their favorite Negroni variations and donating a portion of proceeds from each one sold to a charity of their choice.
Click here to sign up for this year’s festivities, and check back regularly for an updated list of participating bars. In the meantime, click here to email us with any questions or ideas you have about getting involved.
But first, what is a Negroni? It's rumored that a certain Count Negroni, who used to prefer his Americano's with a bit more punch- asked his bartender to add gin to his Campari.
From a medicinal standpoint, his request for a refreshing beverage is stil very well placed. He was probably sick from eating rotten food. How do I know this? Well, it stands to reason! We live in a modern era. BUT.. In the days before electricity and refrigeration, most foods that people ate was compromised in some manner because it just went bad quickly without a way to preserve and keep cool, unless you had ice- but that was not always available.
And the water was poison as well, it was untreated, unless you had liquor or vinegar to pour into it. So people were sick most of the time. Including Count Negroni.
Campari is a powerful stomach curative, namely a digestive and it works very well to cure a belly-ache.
Perhaps that is what the good Count Negroni was really suffering from?
Vermouth, another essential ingredient in a Negroni is made with Wormwood (at least in the European style-the American style somehow leaves this out). Wormwood is the chief ingredient in much celebrated quaff named Absinthe.
The reason why Wormwood is so important in the diet for these individuals from the past was because most people were filled with intestinal worms! I know, it's not nice to think about, BUT it's a fact of life and of history.
Wormwood rids the body of this blockage. It's all fact! Vermouth is also highly effective on fleas and hair mites. It makes a fine hair tonique and was used for that reason as well as for digestion from rich and often impure foods.
Gin of course is the panacea of all classes. Gin helps with relaxation, aids in digestion and calms the mind. Gin was used during the days of the Black Plague as a powerful antioxidant against the nearly always fatal disease. Maybe gin was the real cure?
Who knows... But one thing is for certain, the combination of 1 oz. of Gin to 1 oz. of Sweet Vermouth to 1 oz. of Campari makes for HEALING for more than just getting a buzz on.
With this in mind, I'd like to depart from my usual fare on Foodista and offer a stage at least for this moment in time to a very talented author. Christine Dionese is the co-author with famed cocktailian Jeremy LeBlanc of The Best Craft Cocktails & Bartending With Flair.
Mocktail Negroni by: Christine Dionese
One of my patients from Los Angeles whose job it is to wine and dine clients called me on Wednesday with a special request, “while I love the Negroni, I’m not sure I can drink more than one a night during the rest of Negroni week- they pack more of a punch than I expected- do you have a ‘mocktail’ version I can order out that will save me from a week long hangover???” Laughing I replied, “but of course and it will actually be good for you.”
In case you haven’t heard of Negroni Week, Campari and Imbibe are presenting a week long of bars and clubs around the country crafting their version of the classic cocktail and donating the proceeds to various charities. If you’ve had one too many Negronis this week or want to surprise guests of your own with an alcohol free version, go for the gusto with this slightly bitter, yet buzz-worthy mocktail!
What You’ll Need:
· 1 spray Ponderosa Pine Organic Hydrosol or Dry Soda Juniper Berry soda
· 2 oz Pomelo or pink grapefruit juice
· 3 dashes Urban Moonshine Organic Orange Bitters
· 1 lime wedge
· 2 oz soda water
· 1-3 thick orange slice for garnish (when creating a mocktail version, 3 slices is ideal for a complete flavor profile)
Note: if you can’t get your hands on the bitters last minute, sub San Pellegrino Chinotto- an Italian carbonated beverage produced from the juice of oranges from the Myrtle leaved orange trees aka bitter orange. Still can’t get that? Try San Pellegrino Aranciata carbonated Italian soda.
1. In a glass of your choice, (I prefer a double old fashioned glass), place one large sphere or cube of ice. Use standard ice if this is not available. With hydrosol, spray once so it will evenly coat the ice and glass. Hold and spray about an inch over the glass rim.*
2. Combine juice, bitters, squeeze of lime (discard wedge) and stir.
3. Top with soda water, rim glass with orange and twist over glass to express oils. Place in glass for garnish and full flavor. *If using Juniper Berry soda, add 2 splashes or substitute for regular soda water depending on preferred taste.
Now, raise a glass to your health…
Digestion: Bitter orange settles the stomach after eating a rich meal.
Regulating blood sugar: pink grapefruit can been used to regulate diabetes and blood sugar concerns.
Upper respiratory wellness, seasonal allergies & sinus concerns: bitter orange and pine oil reduce congestion and inflammation and reduce signs and symptoms of upper respiratory concerns.
Christine M. Dionese L.Ac MSTOM
Integrative Health, Medical & Food Journalism, Socially Conscious Endeavors
Thank you Christine! wb