The Negroni capital of Australia

It’s Negroni Week from September 12-18, where participating bars and restaurants across the globe make a donation to charity for every Negroni, or Negroni-related item, sold.

The Negroni – which consist of Campari, vermouth and gin – was born in 1919 when Count Camillo Negroni entered a bar in Florence and asked for an Americano with gin instead of soda water, inspired by a recent trip to Britain.

The popularity of the cocktail has soared in Australia in recent years. According to recent research by soft drink and mixer producer Fentimans, it is the 16th most popular cocktail in the world, but the fourth most popular cocktail in Australia.

To celebrate Negroni Week, at-table ordering solution me&u has crunched the numbers on just how much Aussies love a Negroni.

Those from NSW ordered the most Negronis over the past 12 months, totalling 20,362 of the Italian cocktails, a total spend of $375,266. 

Queenslanders came in second, having ordered 11,885 Negronis to the value of 4220,727, with Victoria coming in third at 5,579, spending $112,498. Tasmanians are the least inclined to drink the cocktail, having only ordered 102 in total over the past 12 months. 

The national average price of a Negroni around the country was $18.69 over the past 12 months. Victoria had the highest average price at $20.16, followed by the ACT at $18.85, Queensland at $18.57, South Australia at $18.46, NSW at $18.43, Tasmania at $18.41, and Western Australia with the lowest average price of a Negroni at $15.70.

All up, Aussies spent $738,601 on the aperitif at me&u venues around the country over the past 12 months. 

How the Negroni boosts consumer spend

Prior to COVID-19, data from Nielsen showed Negroni drinkers go out more, earn more and ultimately spend significantly more than the average consumer.

According to Nielsen, the cocktail is benefiting from a resurgence in interest in bitter drinks, together with the emergence of two key trends: the experimentation of passionate distillers crafting their own amaros (Italian for “bitter”), and young, sociable consumers who are seeking fresh flavours, premium brands and memorable experiences when they visit their favourite bars and restaurants.

As such, Nielsen notes that adding Negronis to cocktail lists can be a significant asset for any on-premise establishment that is looking to engage premium-seeking cocktail drinkers.

“When it comes to spending money on alcohol, fans of the bitter cocktail don’t hold back—and they’re not homebodies,” Nielsen said.

Negroni-centric bar opens in Surry Hills

Bar Conte, a Negroni focused aperitivo bar with 20 versions of the classic cocktail,  launched this week in Surry Hills. A concept brought to life by Negroni enthusiast and co-owner Raffaelle Lombard and his partner, interior designer Victoria Hampshire, Bar Conte aims to bring the culture of the Italian aperitivo to Sydney.

Lombard said: “I have dreamt of  this concept for the past 10 years. The negroni is my drink of choice, and has been since I was a young man growing up in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast. It’s bitter, strong and clean- the ultimate pre-dinner drink. We felt it deserved its own dedicated bar.” 

With 20 iterations of the cocktail, Bar Conte will also specialise in a range of Italian and Australian vermouths. 

Lombard said: “The temperature and the quality of the vermouth is what makes a good negroni. Growing up in Italy, our family homes were always stocked with vermouth, and on special occasions I would be able to try them. 30 years on, I have grown to love those flavours, there is so much nostalgia and many memories for me when it comes to vermouth.”

Adaptations of the classic will all be made with Campari, including a Mexican Negroni, Negroni Bianco, Amber Negroni, Conte’s Barrel Aged Negroni, as well as a Samurai Negroni made with Roku Gin. 

How to make a killer Negroni at home

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