Tennessee Cocktail Bar Debuts World’s Biggest Negroni Menu
A Knoxville bar celebrates #NegroniWeek with more than 40 variations on the iconic Italian apertivo.
While there’s something to be said for keeping cocktails classic and straightforward, it’s all the more impressive to see the craft that goes into riffing on an iconic favorite.
Launched in 2013, Negroni Week has raised millions for charity across the world — the 2022 edition benefits Slow Food’s efforts to expand sustainability, equity, education and diversity through the hospitality industry at large.
And when you consider that the timeless gin-Campari-sweet Vermouth cocktail is at the heart of it all, well, that’s a cause worth toasting.
Yes, you read that correctly: Brother Wolf is offering 40-plus innovative takes on the Negroni (41, to be exact), some of them more subtle and others more eye-catching (take the Negroni Popsicle, for instance).
Brother Wolf is heavily inspired by Italian apertivo culture, and regularly includes multiple iterations of the Negroni on its menu.
You might say the bar has been raised even further this time around, thanks to 28 new takes on the Negroni — in addition to its classic rotation.
“The most challenging part of the process was analyzing which spirits to combine and whether to add extra elements, such as juices and housemade ingredients,” said Brother Wolf Co-Founder and Master Mixologist Jessica “Rabbit” King. “The original Negroni is a perfect drink due to its simplicity, so we did not want to go too far, out of respect.”
The cocktail haven joined Negroni Week for the first time just last year, and hopes cocktail enthusiasts will appreciate the extra effort behind such an extensive selection (the effort runs through September 18th).
“Our motto at Brother Wolf is ‘Bitter is Better,’ and the bar has the Negroni in its DNA,” said Brother Wolf-Co-Founder and hospitality veteran Aaron Thompson. “The Negroni is one of the most balanced cocktails there is, and the world needs to know that a little bitter goes a long way.”
You’ll find gin variations that riff on the iconic drink, like the Negroni Verde in a vivid color (it features Malfy gin, Luxardo Bitter Bianco, Luxardo Maraschino, Baglio Baiata Alagna Vermouth Bianco & Miidori), as well as Negroni iterations featuring tequila, vodka and even bourbon and Scotch.
The Paper Plane Negroni, for example, builds off the Negroni using Old Forester bourbon.
There’s even a frozen Negroni (the Fro-groni) for an even more refreshing take on the style.
The most impressive in the lineup might be the Millionaire’s Negroni, which boasts Don Julio 1942 tequila, Campari and Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth — and sells for $65.
You can even enjoy a Negroni Jello Shot, perhaps the most inventive take yet on the Negroni.
Aside from the Millionaire’s Negroni, other Negroni styles sell for $12 plus tax, a downright steal if you happen to be anywhere near Knoxville to celebrate Negroni Week.
If you’re not in that neck of the woods? It’s best to nod to the occasion with your own twist on the Negroni in the meantime.