We have a fondness for cocktails here at the Robb Vices offices. That should come as no surprise to our members. However, what you might not know is that every Thursday, we head out for a Brainstorming Happy Hour.
It’s at these Happy Hours – when properly mentally lubricated – that many of our future box ideas are born.
Lately, we’ve been drinking at Dante. This European-styled, small-but-mighty café in Greenwich Village should be on your summer, must-visit list here in NYC.
Dante has been serving since 1915, pouring stiff espresso for struggling immigrants and holding the door open for celebrities, alike. Inside, the barstools are brightly lit from massive windows, and waiters hurriedly carry out flatbreads … as locals carry on conversations about authors and ad campaigns, politics and Cronuts.
Dante has always been the bar you want at day’s end. It’s bustling, but not crowded. It’s gregarious, with sincerity.
And, they arguably make the world’s best Negroni. Anna Wintour even agrees with us on this.
The original recipe for a classic Negroni is equal parts Gin + Campari + Vermouth. Dante splashes slightly heavier on the gin. They also get playful. The “Negroni Sessions” menu offers a slew of variations on the perfected classic. Happy Hour pricing is just $10, and a dollar per Negroni always goes to the God’s Love We Deliver charity.
“A big part of the Dante philosophy is finding ways to innovate though an authentic approach,” Co-owner Linden Pride says.
“We like to dig deeply into a concept, ritual and history of a brand or drink and fully embrace it. In doing so, we learn differing rituals and approaches to how the drink is consumed and celebrated in the communities where it was born.”
We order another round. We are into this. Ritual. Yes. We scratch down box ideas on a napkin.
“We can then grow and develop our own interpretations,” Pride tells us. “The Negroni Sessions menu and the 12 drinks we offer is a great example of this … using new and old vermouths and Italian bitters to bring out different characteristics in the gin.”
Next time you have the blessing of being in Greenwich Village, stop by.
We just might be there too.
Dante’s ‘On-Tap’ Classic Negroni
1 oz. Bombay Sapphire
¾ oz. Campari
¾ oz. Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth
METHOD: Stir and strain on 1 large ice cube
GLASS: Etched Rocks
GARNISH: Orange twist + plastic stirrer
Dante’s Lavender Negroni
1 oz. Citadelle gin
¾ oz. Gran Classico Bitter
¾ oz. lavender-infused Cocchi Americano Rosa
2 dashes lavender bitters
METHOD: Stir over ice. Strain on fresh ice
GARNISH: Lavender stalk