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Bartender handshakes pave the way for 10 years of Negroni Week

Caffe Fernet Classic Negroni

Above image: Caffe Fernet’s Classic Negroni

Negroni Week is back, and for this 2022 edition that’s marking a decade since the annual initiative by Campari Group and Imbibe Magazine first started, none other than the bartender handshake – a ritual within the bartending industry where friends are greeted with a small serve cocktail or shot on the house – is taking centerstage.

Channelling that welcome sense of hospitality behind the ritual, this year’s Negroni Week, taking place from Sep 12-18, will have participating bars come up with a Negroni Handshake in addition to a Negroni cocktail riff that bartenders traditionally offer up.

The focus on supporting a charity initiative remains the focus, where participating bars can donate a portion of proceeds from any variant of Negroni sold throughout the week to a good cause of their choosing.

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In Singapore, Campari Group Asia has enlisted the help of 10 select bars (in correspondence with Negroni Week’s 10th year milestone) to lead this year’s campaign, showcasing their takes on the Negroni Handshake in various content formats.

At Caffe Fernet for instance, bartender Aw Yong Tao has decided to serve up a Classic Negroni, eschewing fancy variations for authenticity by using 100% Italy-sourced ingredients – Gin Del Professore, Cinzano Rosso Vermouth, and Campari – for a true-to-source concoction.

Or seek out the Negroni Express at National Gallery stalwart Smoke & Mirrors for a tipple with kick. Among other things, assistant bar manager Mel John Chavez stirs in chilli liqueur Ancho Reyes Verde into this Negroni riff, resulting in a deliciously fiery and layered cocktail.

There are plenty more venues taking part in Negroni Week, of course, with over 60 names offering week-long exclusives in their bid to support the cause of their choosing, while dishing out Negroni Handshakes and riffs to satiate people’s thirst for the bittersweet classic.

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Notable bars and restaurants include Asia’s 50 Best Bars listees MO Bar and Sago House, as well as the likes of California Republic and Da Paolo Dempsey, where the food is as top notch as their drinks.

Beyond special menus, several Negroni Week activations are taking place as well, including an opening party happening at Caffe Fernet on Sep 11, where a Negroni battle between an all Italian cast of bartenders from the Jigger & Pony group will be going down.

Diehard Negroni lovers can head to Tanjong Pagar restaurant GIO on Sep 13 for a free-flow deal, where for just S$48, you’ll get to enjoy the spirit-forward drink throughout the evening while feasting on hearty Italian nosh.

Meanwhile, a gathering of four of Singapore’s home bartenders will be taking place on Sep 16 in the heartlands of Serangoon, where a one-night-only menu of Negroni variations and handshakes will be dished out in the comforts and intimacy of an actual home.

There are plenty more happenings across the island, with the latest updates and details available via Campari Singapore’s official Instagram account. Or head over to Negroni Week’s official website to locate a participating venue near you.

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