The Negroni is synonymous with style, manners and good old-fashioned Hollywood glamour. Think Bogie and Bacall or the glamorous, hedonistic poolside imagery of Slim Aarons. With its roots firmly established in a glamorous past, it had become a symbol for those of us inspired by the glamour of days gone by.
The style influence of the Club 826 collection comes from the effortless and impeccable summer style of men of ’50s and '60s Havana, the charisma of gentlemen in the Hamptons and the sartorial allure of men in Italy and the South of France - think JFK and Marilyn hanging out in Palm Springs, Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley and Pablo Picasso just being Pablo. The question being: if these style icons were all around today, what would they be wearing, and would they be drinking Negroni? We suspect so!
The most widely reported version of this drink's origin is that it was invented by Count Camillo Negroni back in 1919. Legend tells that Count Camillo Negroni asked his friend, bartender Forsco Scarselli from Café Casoni in Florence, for his usual Americano to be stepped up a gear, suggesting that the soda and red vermouth be swapped for gin. The rest, they say, is history. An icon was created.
Step back in time
A little like the Club 826 capsules, its joy lies in the ability to suit so many situations; light enough as an aperitif, working well as both a pre and post-dinner drink, or perfect for a sunny Sunday afternoon snooze-inducing treat in dappled sunshine.
It’s a drink for the discerning palette, not sickly sweet, with a decent-sized kick and a joy of colour. It’s a drink associated with sunshine, and for us, it brings back fond memories of summers on the Amalfi coast. It makes us happy and brings a smile to our faces. Once you've taken a sip, I like to believe that sunshine is now in your stomach! sA substantial part of our design time is spent, Negroni in hand– it’s summer in a glass, so what better to have by your side inspire creativity!
It took over on Instagram during lockdown to give us respite from the negativity of isolation. It became the star of thousands of quarantine cocktail classes, with Stanley Tucci causing an uproar when he broke all the rules making this “ubiquitous Milanese cocktail” – swapping gin for vodka, mixed it in a shaker and served in a coupe. Or was it less of an uproar and more of a meltdown as we swooned at his arms, his perfect polo shirt or that nonchalance he has in his voice? Stanley, you can do no wrong in our book. It became the elegant drink that transcended global doom, the poster boy for lockdown survival.
How to create the magic
It is easy to mix yourself or try a pre-mixed version, which is becoming easier to find.
A traditionally made Negroni is stirred, not shaken, and served on the rocks in your favourite old-fashioned or rocks glass. Drink leisurely whilst wearing your Club 826 Antigua white linen shirt.
Sit back, relax and enjoy.
Cheers, and welcome to Club 826.