Celebrate the Negroni Next Week All Around Town (But Especially Griffin Cider House)


All week long beginning this Monday, Cleveland bars will be participating in Negroni Week, which is presented by Imbibe Magazine and Campari and benefits numerous charitable causes around the world.

Given that one third of that classic cocktail is gin, it seems appropriate to pencil in a stop at Griffin Cider House (12401 Madison Ave., 216-767-5444) in Lakewood, home to Ohio’s largest selection of gins. Opened last year with the goal of showcasing owner Richard Read’s smashing ciders, the bar has been quietly amassing gin labels at an astonishing clip.

“We currently have 47 gins and have the skills to use them very properly and make some pretty damn good drinks with them,” Read asserts. “Obviously, both cider and gin have a big focus in England. Though it wasn’t invented there, the British have embraced gin as their own.”

The classic Negroni is equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, but variations on the theme are endless. Griffin Cider House will be offering daily specials that explore the wide range of options. Guests can also order up gin flights and Negroni flights (and cider flights) to sample a broader selection in a single visit. But for many, it’s impossible to top the golden ratio.

“It’s the balance of the bitter and the sweet,” Read says of the drink’s appeal. “It’s just a great sipper, and especially good for this time of the year.”

To keep track of all the Negroni Week goings on around town, check out the Facebook page

Negroni Week or not, Griffin Cider House should be stop number one for gin lovers.

“I like tell people that I’m not a gin expert, I’m a gin-drinking expert; I love drinking gin,” Read says. “What’s great about gin is that there’s quite a range, from ones that taste very piney to others that don’t have such a strong juniper note.”

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