Melbourne's usual festivities to mark Negroni Week (September 13-19) have been interrupted this year, but that hasn't dampened our enthusiasm for the classic Italian cocktail. This year that love comes in many different forms that go beyond the bottled drink.
Boozy cannoli are your ticket to afternoon delight, with Cannoleria's limited-edition DIY kit of orange and Campari-infused ricotta that you can pipe into shells at home. The kit includes a negroni from The Everleigh Bottling Co and an enamel negroni pin, and $2 from every kit sold goes to hospitality social enterprise Scarf.
Cocktail wizard Orlando Marzo has teamed up with Mork Chocolate to create a drink that balances cacao husk macerated in gin, cold-distilled Venezuelan chocolate and the usual negroni flavours of vermouth and bitter orange. The drink is shipping with Mork's rich twice-baked chocolate cake.
$62 for two cocktails and two slices of cake, morkchocolate.com.au
A granita that does double duty as an afternoon knock-off drink is an excellent way to say hello to spring. Piccolina has rustled up just the thing, with Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin headlining a special icy treat also featuring Campari, sweet vermouth, fresh orange juice and orange zest. Count yourself lucky if you live within 5km of the flagship Collingwood store this week.
$10, 296 Smith Street, Collingwood
Fellow gelateria, Adam D'Sylva's Boca, is spiking gelato with gin from neighbouring Ivanhoe outfit, Imbue Distillery, and adding blood orange zest for that unmistakable negroni flavour. "All that's missing is the glass," says co-owner and pastry chef Monika Frkovic. Head in-store to try it or order a tub for home via Menulog or UberEats.
$5.50 per scoop, tubs from $15, 183 Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe, bocagelato.com.au
Want to have your negroni and eat it too? Springhill Farm's negroni slice has all the bittersweet flavours of the drink without the alcohol. Orange, clove and cinnamon mingle in the biscuit base, with a layer of white chocolate bringing the sugar hit. The slice comes with the real McCoy, mixed and bottled by city distillery Little Lon, in a pack that also raises money for Foodbank.
Fitzroy North's neighbourhood cucina Lagotto is taking zuppa inglese, Italy's answer to trifle, for a negroni-flavoured ride as part of this week's Saturday Night In menu. Chef Matteo Fulchiati (ex-Osteria Ilaria) is soaking savoiardi biscuits in red vermouth and Campari, slipping gin into the chocolate mousse, and adding orange to the creme patissiere. Main course is saffron spaghetti with scampi. Bellissimo.
$110 for six dishes (feeds 2), available for delivery 10km from Fitzroy North, lagotto-fitzroynorth.com.au