Great things come from surprising beginnings, and Fatman’s Aged Negroni is the proof.
Tasmania’s native son and everyone’s favourite man about Quo Vadis and Soho, Mathew Smallbane and his team at Fatman and Friends have spent three years developing Fatman’s Negroni. Fatman and Friends established themselves as a pop up in 2014 in Bethnal Green and had a huge success. This led to the development of the Fatman brand into bottling the small batch negroni.
The Negroni cocktail is as iconic as the Art of Florence from which Count Negroni himself drew inspiration to concoct this time-tested, now ubiquitous cocktail. The rise in popularity in Italian drinks in London has skyrocketed over the last few years. A deceptively simple, yet incredibly complex blend of gin, Campari and select sweet vermouths, over ice and a serious slice of orange may sound like a simple challenge to the amateur. But any connoisseurs will tell you it’s a fickle, painstaking process concocting a perfect version, balancing bitter and sweet in a way that will refresh, quench a first and still slip down easily. It’s the perfect summer cocktail for a reason.
Mathew’s mission is not to re-invent the wheel. He uses the Count’s original recipe of Martini Rosso, Campari, and Gin (he uses Bombay Sapphire for its botanical notes) to which he adds “a secret blend of aromatics and an ageing process, bringing this classic aperitif up-to-date for the modern palate.” Mathew adds “We craft small batches over several months to ensure the flavour is just right every time to do the drink the justice its heritage deserves.”
What emerges as Fatman’s Negroni after eight weeks of maturing in Whitstable, is a cocktail that has all the hallmarks of a classic Negroni with an aromatic boost that extends and develops the flavour profile of the drink. It’s Negroni perfection in a bottle. Mathew’s also developing other classic cocktails in the same way: including the Martinez and the Old Fashioned, and given his Negroni results, I can’t wait to try them when ready.
So forget about the rosé. This summer’s drink is Fatman’s Negroni.
If you want to try Fatman’s heavenly creation, International Negroni week is descending upon London from 5th to 11th June. Fatman and Friends will be right in the mix: popping up from Thursday 8th to Saturday 10th June in the heart of Chelsea at Rufus Pucci Pizza, rated by Tatler as the best traditional Italian restaurant in Chelsea earlier this year and in the IGT Top Five Pizzas in London.
As an official partner in Negroni Week’s charitable goals, the team will be making donations to More Than Pink Project for breast cancer.
Alternatively Fatman’s Negroni retails in the Albion stores and restaurants in Shoreditch and Clerkenwell, as well as other stores in London, and via their own website.