My love story with the Negroni is fast, furious and everlasting. If there ever was a perfect cocktail, this would be it. Aside from the fact that it's stupid-easy to make—equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth—the Negroni is a study in balance. It's sweet and bitter, dry and juicy, boozy and refreshing.
The other thing I love about this cocktail is that it has a way of bringing its admirers together—people who like Negronis share a special bond with each other. You can imagine my delight, then, when a fellow devotee in New York texted a photo of a teeny-tiny canned Negroni she'd discovered at her neighborhood wine shop. Crafted by Tip Top Proper Cocktails, the adorable baby-pink can promised an "always balanced, never too sweet" blend of dry gin, vermouth and red bitters.
It didn't take much convincing for me to have an eight-pack shipped straight to my door the following week. Though the quality of the cocktail is strong enough to sip straight from the can, I chose to pour it over a big ice cube for the full effect. Nothing beats a freshly mixed Negroni, but this comes pretty damn close—it's bright and herbaceous, full-bodied and wonderfully bitter.
The story behind Tip Top is somehow even more endearing. Founders, childhood buddies and music industry dudes Neal Cohen and Yoni Reisman created their line of canned cocktails to fill a void. They were tired of not being able to find great craft cocktails at concerts and tailgates, so they teamed with award-winning Atlanta bar vet Miles Macquarrie to solve their dilemma. Today, Tip Top cans six classic tipples, including a spirit-forward Manhattan, a super-juicy Margarita and a crisp Bee's Knees.
And now, as the world slowly reopens, I'll finally be able to enjoy a canned Negroni the way its founders intended—surrounded by friends. Cheers to that.