There is no other cocktail that quite embodies the spirit of The Rake magazine, quite like the Negroni. A symbol of hope and optimism, it is why during this wretched year, we launched The Rake x Ralph Lauren ‘Negroni Bear’ Polo Bear watch, and continue to stock limited edition Negroni dachshund print face masks from Dapper Villains. 2020 might have elapsed, but we don’t intend to renounce our fervor and passion for the orange-hued drink. In fact, we have some exciting Negroni orientated collaborations to announce in due course. But before that, we’re delighted to share with you how Australian couple Linden Pride and Nathalie Hudson have turned the iconic Caffé Dante in New York’s Greenwich Village into the best place to go for an aperitif in New York, and whose menu pays unique and special homage to the Negroni.
Rechristened Dante by the couple, the long-cherished Italian coffeehouse dates back to 1915, which is only a couple of years before the fateful inception of the Negroni. Situated on MacDougal Street which was mostly an Italian neighbourhood when it opened (it still retains strong Italian heritage), it is no surprise that this congenial establishment fast became the stomping ground for the Mafia, as well as attracting freethinking bohemians including Ernest Hemingway and Anaïs Nin. This in turn earned the area its unofficial name as 'America's Left Bank'. In 1971, Mario Flotta Sr. took over the coffeehouse, and over the course of the next 40 years it would continue to be frequented by community neighbours and celebrities who were pining for a piece of Italy. Al Pacino was regularly seen in the establishment enjoying its relaxed ambience.