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Drink DuJour: Inception Negroni

This cocktail within a cocktail is a drinker’s dream

The ambiance at Prohibition, an underground speakeasy at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, has the potential to feel a bit dream-like. It’s easy to imagine another time and place while sitting in the shadows sipping a prohibition-era drink like the Scofflaw or indulging in the bar’s absinthe experience, and one particular drink on the menu is even more mind-bending than that. 

Inspired by the plot of the suspenseful 2010 thriller Inception, award-winning bartender Robyn Gray’s new take on the Negroni plays with the laws of physics to suspend a classic version of the cocktail (typically made with Campari, gin and sweet vermouth) inside a hollow, round piece of ice. A White Negroni is poured over the sphere, and the two versions of the cocktail bleed together only when the drinker cracks the ice. 

“It’s the name of the movie, and the idea was to create a cocktail within a cocktail. It’s a contemporary twist of a Negroni and I’ve always worked with the idea of making an interesting cocktail with something that was hidden and could be revealed. It took at least 24 times to get it right and even now I’m still trying to get it absolutely perfect,” says Gray.



Classic Negroni
20 ml. Brokers Gin
20 ml. Campari
20 ml. Rosso Vermouth


White Negroni
20 ml. Brokers Gin
20 ml. Suze
20 ml. Martini Bianco
Lemon swath

Par Freeze an ice cube and insert the classic Negroni. Place the “inception ball” (the classic Negroni suspended in ice) into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. For the White Negroni component, stir all ingredients on cubed ice in a mixing vessel and julep strain over inception ball. Garnish with lemon oil from swath and place the swath in the cocktail.