Via The New York Times, written by Alex Williams:
At the recent opening party for Grand Banks, a meticulously on-trend oyster bar on an old fishing schooner anchored at Pier 25 in Manhattan, all the colors of summer were on Technicolor display: the gold of the sunset, the steel-blue of the Hudson River and the red of the cocktails.
Yes, red. In every direction, partygoers fashionably clad in the season’s Vans slip-ons and Persol sunglasses could be seen sipping a fiery crimson Negroni, a bitters-based aperitif that is not only a signature cocktail of the restaurant, but also, it seems, of this summer itself.
“It’s like a pink polo shirt,” said Alex Pincus, an owner, who prowled the schooner’s decks that night, Negroni in hand. He explained further, “it’s sort of manly and colorful at the same time.”
Such enthusiasm for the Negroni is evident at craft cocktail bars, beach clubs and rooftop bars alike, where stylish tipplers have embraced this venerable Italian concoction as a latter-day Cosmo for the artisanal set.
The Negroni may look to the uninitiated like the stuff of Cancún spring-break frolics, with its Hawaiian Punch hue and festive shard of orange peel. But in classic form, it is a serious libation: a blend of Campari, gin and sweet vermouth with complex personality and unapologetic bitter finish that challenges you to love it.
The Negroni has also become a fashion statement of sorts for connoisseurs — a pledge of allegiance to la dolce vita, and a secret signal to fellow cognoscenti that you do not stoop to sozzle yourself in the fashion of the daiquiri-sipping masses.
Its nuance, in fact, is the basis of its charm, devotees say.