Usually, I let “National X Day/Week” pass by unnoticed, because they’re often just a flimsy marketing ploy. However, I make exceptions for some, and National Negroni Week (September 18-24) is one that’s obviously getting the full Secret London treatment. Regularly vying with espresso martinis for the unofficial title of London’s favourite cocktail, Negronis are a mainstay on cocktail bar menus around the capital (which may have something to do with the fact that it’s three parts alcohol and nothing else).
Few things top the original Negroni – more bitter than me after my latest rent payment, just with a spiral of orange peel – but since the cocktail lends itself to experimentation, there are plenty of winning riffs you’ve got to try. Here are some of our favourite bars in London for a Negroni:
1. Vermuteria, Kings Cross
Where better to kick off a negroni-oriented list than a cocktail bar with one of London’s biggest vermouth collections? Vermuteria can serve you aperitifs and digestifs to your heart’s content, but it’s the three different Negronis that we’re here for – including one with chamomile-infused Tanqueray gin. You can even trace the origins of the Negroni by trying out a Milano-Torino, the drink which birthed both the Americano and the Negroni.
📍 38/39 Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ.
🚇 Nearest station is Kings Cross St Pancras.
2. Bar Termini, Soho
Italian style in the heart of Soho. Staying true to the purest definition of a Negroni is a good option here, but Bar Termini isn’t afraid to mix things up. Outside of the Clasico Negroni, their menu also offers up subtle riffs that explore the drink’s versatility and depth. Just for National Negroni Week, they’ll also be serving up three new Negroni twists: Bergamot Negroni, Arrancia Verde Negroni and Oriental Beauty Negroni. They also sell premixed takeaway bottles, so you can have an expertly made Negroni at home without any fuss.
📍 7 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 5JE.
🚇 Nearest stations are Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square.
3. Padella, Shoreditch
While Padella may count a few venues in London to their name, it’s their Shoreditch location that Negroni-lovers will want to make a beeline for. Their own riff on the Negroni, the Padella Negroni, is an approachable take on the classic that tamps down the bitterness with a blend of three different vermouths. You can also net yourself one for just £2 courtesy of their Negroni Nights. Throughout Negroni Week, guests can take advantage of the deal all day long, which is usually restricted to between Monday and Friday, from 5-6:30PM.
📍 1 Phipp Street, EC2A 4PS.
🚇 Nearest stations are Shoreditch High Street and Old Street.
4. Little Mercies, Crouch End
Neighbourhood cocktail bar Little Mercies knows exactly what the fine people of Crouch End want: a slowly rotating cast of house cocktails, each with a wickedly inventive twist. And their Negroni riffs are some of the most inventive out there – did someone say Pistachio Negroni? Their Rhubarb Negroni, available in bottles for purchase through their shop, is a particular crowd favourite. Much like Pokémon, you’ve really got to catch them all here… So be sure to make good use of their Happy Hour. Every day, from 6-7pm, you can get a discount of 30% off everything!
📍 20 Broadway Parade, Crouch End, N8 9DE.
🚇 Nearest stations are Highgate and Crouch Hill.
5. Gloria, Shoreditch
Fabulously OTT restaurant Gloria isn’t exactly renowned for subtlety, but their signature Negroni (which changes each month with the menu) is at least relatively restrained. Compared to the rest of the menu, that is. Their current riff is the Emilian Crush with Strawberry infused Campari, Beefeater gin, Martini Rubino, and a drop of Balsamic Vinegar served with a Parmigiano wafer. Hey, we did say it was only ‘relatively’ restrained.
📍 54-56 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3QR.
🚇 Nearest stations are Old Street and Shoreditch High Street.
6. Carlotta, Marylebone
Another Big Mama group restaurant? To be honest, we could have popped them all in! But Carlotta stands out for the sheer opulence and glamour that accompanies your Negroni-drinking, pasta-slurping nights out. I mean, just look at that bar! Their Cedroni utilizes Chamomile-infused Campari, Martini rubino, Beefeater gin, and Nardini acqua di cedro – a lemon liqueur that sits halfway between grappa and limoncello.
📍 77-78 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5JX.
🚇 Nearest stations are Regent’s Park and Baker Street.
7. Forza Wine, Peckham and South Bank
Forza Wine first came to our attention for their delightful frozen Negronis – arguably the greatest of grown-up slushies. But they’re hardly one-trick ponies. They also do a classic Negroni and Negroni Sbagliatio (of course), as well as a Cherry Negroni, a Negroni Sour, and even a non-alcoholic Negroni!
📍 The Rooftop, 133A Rye Lane, SE15 4BQ, and Royal National Theatre, Upper Ground,SE1 9PX.
🚇 Nearest stations are Peckham Rye and Waterloo.
8. Duck and Waffle, Liverpool Street
If you ever find yourself torn between ordering a Negroni and an espresso martini, perchance Duck and Waffle‘s Ristretto Negroni will bridge the gap. The sky-high restaurant flavour the cocktail with slow drip coffee, giving it the whole “wake you up and fuck you up” kick of the beloved espresso martini. As a plus, they’re open 24/7, so you never have to ignore your 4am craving for a Negrony anymore. Get you a cocktail that can do both…
40th floor, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY. Nearest station is Liverpool Street.
9. Mele e Pere, Soho
Another bar boasting one of the biggest selections of vermouth in town leads, quite naturally, to a banging Negroni. Mele e Pere describes their house Negroni as their “pride and joy”, and throughout National Negroni Week they’ll be serving up a special menu of Negronis (classic and contemporary) for just £8, between 12 and 7pm. Hurry on down!
📍 46 Brewer Street, Soho, W1F 9TF.
🚇 Nearest station is Piccadilly Circus.
10. City of London Distillery, City of London
We’ve already suggested heading to bars that specialise in vermouth, for wonderful takes on the classic cocktail, but what about places that specialise in the base spirit itself – gin? Head on down to the home of Whitley Neill, the City of London Distillery, for a more gin-oriented approach to the classic cocktail. Enjoy a few spirited beverages, right next to where they make the spirit itself!
📍 22-24 Bride Lane, EC4Y 8DT.
🚇 Nearest station is Blackfriars.
11. Do Not Disturb, City of London
Found in the basement of City Hotel Vintry & Mercer, Do Not Disturb is a discreet speakeasy with an impressive selection of barrel-aged cocktails. Our pick of the lot is (obviously) the Negroni – which is aged in ex-Riesling barrels and is mixed up with DND’s own vermouth.
📍 20 Garlick Hill, EC4V 2AU.
🚇 Nearest station is Mansion House.
12. Scarfes Bar, Holborn
For National Negroni Week Scarfes Bar isn’t focusing on the gin, nor are they focusing on the vermouth. Instead, they’re honing in on the ingredient most responsible for the Negroni’s signature bitterness and colour – Campari. The bar has partnered up with Campari for an ultra-special cocktail, the Metamorphosis, which sits halfway between a Gin Martini and a Negroni. The drink even makes use of a house-made Negroni Caviar, made by distilling Campari into a concentrate and turning it into caviar.
📍 The Rosewood London Hotel, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN.
🚇 Nearest station is Holborn.
13. Fern, Croydon
Specially for National Negroni Week, this neighbourhood restaurant has collaborated with Wiltshire’s Ramsbury Distillery to showcase three Negroni specials. Head on down to Fern to try the limited edition British Sbagliatio with Ramsbury Raspberry and Wildflower Honey Gin, Asterley Bros Estate Vermouth, and English Sparkling Wine from the Bolney Estate in Sussex. Or you could choose between the Negroni Sour (Ramsbury Single Estate Gin, Aperol, pineapple, lemon, and Ms. Better’s Bitters) and the Classic Negroni (Ramsbury Single Estate Gin, Cecielo Rosso, and Campari). Is anyone else considering just getting all three, and then rolling their way home?
📍 100 George Street, Croydon, CR0 1GP .
🚇 Nearest station is East Croydon.
14. HIDE, Green Park
If you can tear your eyes away from the absolutely STUNNING interiors of HIDE, you’ll find yourself presented with some equally gorgeous drinks. And just for National Negroni Week they’ve got the truly unique Willy Wonka Negroni, which has to be tasted to be believed. Campari, shiitake mushroom infused gin, vermouth, and Cacao rum combine for a truly unforgettable take on the classic drink.
📍 85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB.
🚇 Nearest station is Green Park.
15. The Aubrey, Knightsbridge
Coinciding neatly with National Negroni Week is The Aubrey’s takeover by Drink Kong – one of Italy’s most innovative bars, and the 16th-best bar in the world. To commemorate the two happenings, a special Negroni menu will be in place throughout September, featuring a series of Negroni twists from head bartender Patrick Pistolesi. These include the Avocado & Tomato Negroni, Coffee Negroni, and Sakura Negroni.
📍 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA.
🚇 Nearest station is Knightsbridge.
16. Pizzeria Mozza, Marylebone
This pizzeria is already a destination in its own right, given it comes from the award-winning, Chef’s Table-featured chef Nancy Silverton. But Pizzeria Mozza is giving hunger Londoners even more reason to chow down on their delicious pies, thanks to a month-long Negroni offering. Throughout September they’re serving up a Florentine pairing of Negroni and a delectable Italian tasting menu. You can try a classic Negroni, and some riffs, perfectly paired with the likes of roasted olives, meatballs al Forno, and a prosciutto, mozzarella di Bufala, and rucola pizza.
As if that wasn’t enough – they’re also offering the chance to nab a free Negroni. Diners who order a main dish on September 21 can also enjoy a complimentary Negroni. Count us in!
📍 Treehouse Hotel London, 4-5 Langham Place, W1B 3DG.
🚇 Nearest station is Oxford Circus.
17. Hawksmoor, multiple venues
Hawksmoor is getting into the spirit of things with their own Negroni offering for National Negroni Week. A competition between all of the Hawskmoor bars to create the next best Negroni was won by Martha Markham from Hawskmoor Liverpool, whose special offering will now be available from all Hawksmoor bars until September 24. The creation, Up the Garden Path, utilizes greengage-infused East London Gin, rosé vermouth, Beesou honey aperitif, and rose/hibiscus bitters.
📍 Find your nearest Hawksmoor here.
18. Theo Randall at the InterContinental, Green Park
Do you have strong opinions about the perfect way to make Negronis, and the best ingredients to use? Then you’ll definitely want to check out the DIY Negronis at Theo Randall at the InterContinental London Park Lane. Choose your favourite Italian gin, vermouth, and bitters to have it your way. Or if you’d rather leave it to the pros, opt for the ever-evolving Theo’s Signature Negroni which achieves complexity thanks to the Solera-style blending and rotation of three different spirits from three different barrels.
📍 One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1J 7QY.
🚇 Nearest station is Hyde Park Corner.
So, there you have it – a veritable plethora of Negronis to sip at over the course of National Negroni Week. Whether you love the classics or are eager to try a contemporary riff on the drink, there’s plenty to choose from.
Also published on Medium.