Negroni Week Begins June 1st

My how far we've come over the past eight years. I remember having to ask what a Negroni was in the year 2007. Now there's an entire week being dedicated to its renaissance by Campari. I think if you were to split my wrist open and draw blood from my veins, there would be at least 10% Campari mixed in with all the platelets and plasma. I drink Campari like it's....well, Campari. Or water. Or whatever people drink a lot of these days. Energy drinks? I've watched the would-be substitutes come and go. "This new thing is better than Campari!" people try to tell me, hoping that I'll eventually make the switch. But they never are better, and that liter bottle of red deliciousness continues to go on my K&L tab each week (I probably drink about 52 bottles of Campari a year).

Then Todd Leopold from Leopold Bros. Distillers came to visit me a few weeks back and everything changed. I was totally blown away by his Leopold Aperitivo, to the point that I actually think I might now have to divide my time between both brands. My co-worker Gary Westby and I made Negronis with it last week and were floored. I can safely say that if you're going to celebrate Negroni week, you won't be able to do it right unless you have a bottle of the Leopold on hand.

What's in a Negroni? It's very simple: equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Stir with ice until cold, then strain into a coup glass or pour it on the rocks with a twist. Make the same recipe with the Leopold Aperitivo and tell me it isn't just as good. I dare you.

Leopold Bros. Aperitivo $34.99- If you're a Campari fan, but have never been able to find something outside of the Italian legend that scratches that same itch, then this might be the one thing that finally captivates you. The Leopold brothers have gone back to the drawing board and created an all natural version of the bitter aperitivo that uses real cochineal (like Campari used to) to color the liquid and brings a much bolder, more bitter flavor. It mixes like a DREAM into a Negroni and works wonders in an Americano. If you think you've got the Negroni cocktail mastered, think again. Until you've used this you can't be sure!

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll