A search for the best Negroni in Chicago
We looked high and low for the best version of the classic Italian cocktail
The world celebrated the Negroni’s 100th birthday this year, an impressive milestone for the bitter Italian elixir that blends equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. Though the orange-hued sipper has evolved over its lifetime, it’s always stayed true to its roots—just like your sweet old granny. In honor of the drink’s 100th lap around the sun, we went looking for Chicago’s all-time best Negroni, which we found hiding in plain sight at a hotel bar in the Loop. Along the way, we sampled a few noteworthy runners-up that should make every Negroni lover’s list—from a frozen slushy and a version crafted with rare vintage spirits to a mezcal-infused remix from one of Chicago’s best cocktail bars. Sip your way through the best Negronis in Chicago.
The words multiple choice give us flashbacks to quizzes we took in school, but when it comes to Il Porcellino’s multiple-choice Negroni, there’s no wrong answer. Choose from the Jamaican (subs rum for gin), the Mr. White (replaces Campari and sweet vermouth with Kina and Suze), the Fernet (a bitter blend of Campari, Fernet and Cynar) and, our personal favorite, the bubbly Sbagliato, with prosecco, Aperol and sweet vermouth. From 4 to 6 pm daily, the happy-hour menu includes a whopping nine more variations—each priced at $8.