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Where: Café Saint-Ex, 1847 14th St. NW

Bartender Response: “A Campari and soda?” We pressed for something more creative.

What We Got: A Negroni made with gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, garnished with a cherry and orange slice

Price: $9.09

How It Tasted: Surprisingly heavy on gin

Improv Points (1-5): 3. A Negroni is a standard Campari cocktail, but this concoction was half gin, instead of the usual third. A Negroni is no place to revive the 18th century Gin Craze.


Where: Bourbon, 2321 18th St. NW

Bartender Response: “Yeah, sure.”

What We Got: Broker’s gin, Cointreau, Campari, and orange bitters served up with an orange peel

Price: $10

How It Tasted: This drink had a megadose of citrus, but that didn’t detract from the herbal notes in the gin and Campari.

Improv Points (1-5): 4. This is quite close to a classic Negroni, but all that orange made for something fresh and unusual. And we were glad our bartender didn’t shy away from a double dose of bitters.


Where: Elisir, 427 11th St. NW

Bartender Response: “A Negroni?” When pressed for something else, he responded, “I’m not too familiar with Campari drinks.”

What We Got: A Negroni made with gin, sweet vermouth, Campari, a cherry, and a sliver of orange peel

Price: $11

How It Tasted:  Slightly fruitier than the Saint-Ex version. Placing the orange peel in the glass enhanced the citric fragrance that complements a Campari’s subtly bitter aftertaste.

Improv Points (1-5): 3. Mixing equal parts gin, vermouth, and Campari is the right combination. Even though it’s a proper Negroni, it’s still yet another Negroni.