Looking for Negroni – Cocktail as a Cultural Phenomenon

REVIEW/NATION
by Marina Shchelokova
03.05.2021
Looking for Negroni (2019) is Federico Micali's documentary dedicated to the famous Italian cocktail. The story of a single drink grows into the story of a person and then of a whole epoch.
Negroni is said to be born at the end of 1919 during one of the ordinary evenings in Caffè Casoni in Florence. Duke Camilo Negroni asked the bartender to add gin into his Americano (cocktail consisting of Campari and sweet vermouth). People started ordering their drink in the style of the duke. Cocktail bears his name since then.

Negroni happened to be the favorite cocktail of one of the famous modern bartenders — the one who wasn't satisfied just by making and drinking it. He wanted to know more, so he started his own investigation. This investigation lay in the basis of the documentary, and the bartender became its main hero. The movie follows the life path of the duke to find out where his idea comes from. The answer is not unexpected — from America and the golden age of cocktails. It turns out it was right after Negroni's return from the States when he made his adjustments.
The documentary takes a trip to the USA, immersing the viewer in the era when the bartender was a celebrity. Directors don't limit themselves by a single Negroni story and expand to the whole cultural phenomenon of cocktails. They talk about personalities, traditions and occasions of the times when drinks were art. One of the most interesting parts of it is advertising. The movie shows Campari commercials done by futuristic artist Fortunato Depero. Alcohol seems to be not just entertainment but a form of expression.
The next stop of the documentary is Cuba, which became a cradle for American bartenders who lost their jobs after the introduction of prohibition. Our main hero visits the famous bar "El Floridita," where Ernest Hemingway used to spend time. It is interesting that the first recipe of Negroni appeared there and not in Italy. As we learn later, the Negroni recipe was passed to France, then, during the competition of bartenders, it was told to Americans and came to Cuba from the States.

Negroni up to today is made by its original recipe, which is one part gin, one part vermouth Rosso (red, semi-sweet), and one part Campari. It's one of the official cocktails of IBA (International Bartenders Association) in the category The Unforgettables.
Apart from telling the story of Negroni and its huge part in Italian culture, the documentary manages to unfold the wonderful world of bartenders. It shows their passion for their occupation and their dedication to it. And it most certainly inspires to have a drink!
 
Looking for Negroni – Cocktail as a Cultural Phenomenon

REVIEW/NATION
by Marina Shchelokova
03.05.2021
Looking for Negroni (2019) is Federico Micali's documentary dedicated to the famous Italian cocktail. The story of a single drink grows into the story of a person and then of a whole epoch.
Negroni is said to be born at the end of 1919 during one of the ordinary evenings in Caffè Casoni in Florence. Duke Camilo Negroni asked the bartender to add gin into his Americano (cocktail consisting of Campari and sweet vermouth). People started ordering their drink in the style of the duke. Cocktail bears his name since then.

Negroni happened to be the favorite cocktail of one of the famous modern bartenders — the one who wasn't satisfied just by making and drinking it. He wanted to know more, so he started his own investigation. This investigation lay in the basis of the documentary, and the bartender became its main hero. The movie follows the life path of the duke to find out where his idea comes from. The answer is not unexpected — from America and the golden age of cocktails. It turns out it was right after Negroni's return from the States when he made his adjustments.
The documentary takes a trip to the USA, immersing the viewer in the era when the bartender was a celebrity. Directors don't limit themselves by a single Negroni story and expand to the whole cultural phenomenon of cocktails. They talk about personalities, traditions and occasions of the times when drinks were art. One of the most interesting parts of it is advertising. The movie shows Campari commercials done by futuristic artist Fortunato Depero. Alcohol seems to be not just entertainment but a form of expression.

The next stop of the documentary is Cuba, which became a cradle for American bartenders who lost their jobs after the introduction of prohibition. Our main hero visits the famous bar "El Floridita," where Ernest Hemingway used to spend time. It is interesting that the first recipe of Negroni appeared there and not in Italy. As we learn later, the Negroni recipe was passed to France, then, during the competition of bartenders, it was told to Americans and came to Cuba from the States.

Negroni up to today is made by its original recipe, which is one part gin, one part vermouth Rosso (red, semi-sweet), and one part Campari. It's one of the official cocktails of IBA (International Bartenders Association) in the category The Unforgettables.
Apart from telling the story of Negroni and its huge part in Italian culture, the documentary manages to unfold the wonderful world of bartenders. It shows their passion for their occupation and their dedication to it. And it most certainly inspires to have a drink!
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