Last week we had the pleasure of interviewing DJ, producer and overall gender bending sweetheart Nick Monaco on his new beverage venture. A one of a kind, limited edition negroni, crafted with handmade gin using wild botanicals from his native Northern California. We also got to chatting about other food business ideas and of course music; he and musician Emmett Kai have just announced the release of their imprint Unisex.
Q. So we hear you collaborated with some booze makers in northern California? Who are they? And why negroni? And not say wine?
A. I fell in love with Negroni’s when I lived in Rome as a young pup. I loved the combination of bitter, herbaceous , and sweet flavors. It taught me how to drink, to enjoy every sip and take your time. It’s a cocktail of pleasure.
The idea came to me last summer, I was going through my storage and found a dusty box of bottles that I had bought for a project where I was going to bottle my own bath water (which I still might do). I looked at the bottles and intuitively thought there should be Negroni’s in them, I saw the artwork in my head too! So I embarked upon a mission to make a bottled Negroni.
Q. What makes this negroni unique?
A. The unique feature in this Negroni is the gin that I made from scratch. I wanted to make my own gin with botanicals from Northern California where I grew up. There was a bay leaf tree in my backyard growing up that is really special to me, I used to go back there and pick leaves for my bechamel sauce. So I wanted the bay leaf tree to be in the negroni. So it’s a really a sentimental drink for me because it captures some of my NorCal roots.
Q. Also, is that some Fucci pussy on the label? We know you like pussy and you’d travel the world to get to a pussy, but what’s the connection with Negroni’s?
A. I could try and make some elaborate connection, but honestly I just think it looks dope as fuck.
Q. We know the negroni is limited edition, so while it lasts where can we enjoy it?
A. You can enjoy it at Black Flamingo in Brooklyn. We’ll be having a launch party on May 5th.
Q. And last but not least, do you have any other food/beverage ideas in the works and what about new music? Anything we should be keeping our eyes and ears open for?
A. I’m working with a winemaker in Italy and learning how to make Lambrusco. The end goal is to make a natural Californian Lambrusco, that’s my next big challenge.
On the music front – I have a new album coming out this year on my own label I started with my partner Emmett Kai. It’s called Unisex. Thanks for the chat. Ciao for now!
For a taste of Nicky’s Negroni find dates and locations below:
5/3 – 228 Restobar – Santo Domingo, DR
5/5 – Black Flamingo – Brooklyn
5/12 – Soho House – Barcelona
5/19 – Soho House – Istanbul