Cocktail Showcase – Roots & Silk


This week’s showcase is Roots & Silk, a Yorkshire twist on an Italian classic, the Negroni.

Last week we looked at The Gooseberry Gimlet, for a recap, click here!

The Negroni

A cocktail history of heated debate! Both France and Italy have laid claims to its origin with some merit on each side.

We begin our first tale with the Americano as a precursor to the Negroni. A blend of sweet vermouth, Campari & soda that became popular in Italy whilst prohibition was occurring in America.

Count Camillo Negroni
Count Camillo Negroni

The story goes that in 1919 Count Camillo Negroni, the infamous extrovert and patron of Carsoni bar in Florence wanted a little more kick in his Americano. The bartender there, Fosco Scarselli, swapped out the usual soda ingredient for gin. This became a regular order Count Negroni and pretty soon, regulars began ordering the same, asking for a ‘Negroni’. 

The issue with this account is that there is no record in the family history of a Count Camillo Negroni.

So, we move onto origin story no.2

Count Pascalle Negroni was a Brigadier General with the French army and fought in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870. During this conflict, he introduced his fellow officers to his signature ‘vermouth-based’ cocktail. This claim is corroborated by a letter written to his older brother in 1886 recounting the experience.

Whichever tale of provenance you prefer, one thing we can all agree on; Negronis are delicious!


The Negroni can be a difficult cocktail to get into. Its blend of bitter, sweet and dry isn’t for everyone. Commonly served ‘equal parts’ as a mixture of gin, sweet vermouth and Campari over ice.

Our version at Smokestack imbues locally sourced flavours of rhubarb and complimentary notes of ginger to complete the picture. The name is influenced by the introduction of rhubarbs to Italy via journey along the Silk Road, the main ‘highway’ of commerce for many centuries.

Roots & Silk

  • Martin Miller’s Westbourne gin
  • rhubarb infused Cocchi Torino
  • Campari

Stir and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice
Garnish with candied ginger

We’ll be showcasing a different drink every week from our new cocktail menu, be sure to keep up to date via our social media!