The cocktail world's current It drink—the negroni—is having a fantastic year, partially because it's so damn easy to make: equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. But it's also one of those drinks that reward those who have the patience to experiment with it. As with medical-marijuana pioneers, the truly adventurous are turning their obsession into a more edible format.
This week, more than a thousand bars and restaurants across the country are making their own versions of the drink in the form of popcorn, ice pops, and even Jell-O shots. Below, we've rounded up the five most intriguing concoctions across the country.
Negroni Jell-O Shots (pictured above)
Get a negroni-flavored Jell-O shot from the masters of the frat-house staple at Franklin Café in Boston, where the menu regularly includes gelatinous versions of classic drinks—they've already taken on the salty dog, the whiskey sour, and the Miami Vice (half strawberry daiquiri, half pina colada).
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Negroni Gum Drops
For a negroni-as-sweet option, check out Aveline (and sister space the European)—new San Francisco spots from Top Chef Season 3 runner-up Casey Thompson. Pastry chef Kaley Laird's boozy, bitter sweets use the same ingredients as the namesake cocktail, but she also adds orange-infused agave, sugar, and a touch of salt. You can order them as dessert or find them used as a garnish in bar manager Adam Wilson's negroni variations.
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New York City's experimental cocktail joint Saxon + Parole is serving orange mousse infused with gin botanicals. Pastry chef Brian Yarko has made boozy desserts before—like the biscotti sazerac—but this is a bit more involved. Crack a white-chocolate shell to find the mousse inside with a vermouth foam and negroni-flavored sorbet on the side.
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The old-world-style Italian restaurant Perbacco offers five different kinds of negronis, but the main draw this week is negroni popcorn, available as a bar snack. The stove-top popcorn is made in-house, only this time it's coated with a caramel made using vermouth, Campari, and a little bit of honey with a gin salt made from juniper and other spices.
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Beloved Bay Area ice cream-maker Humphry Slocombe is making negroni ice pops with Campari, gin, vermouth, and grapefruit for a perfect weekend cooler.
Negroni Week runs from June 2 to June 8 with a dollar for every drink sold going to the charity of the bar's choice.
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