Q&A with Natalie diFrancesco
When Natalie diFrancesco signed up her bar, The Chasseur, for Negroni Week, she mentioned that had a particularly strong relationship with the charity she would be supporting this year. We asked if she would be interested in telling us about why that charity, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was so special to her, and she graciously agreed to share her story.
Imbibe: Tell us a bit about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which you’ve selected as your charity for Negroni Week, and what it means to you.
Natalie diFrancesco: Not only is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society a great organization, it will forever have a special place in my heart. I lost my mother to a form of Leukemia at the age of 12, less than nine months after she was diagnosed. Giving back to LLS is important to me so that I can have a direct impact on helping advance procedures, treatments, drugs and other important medical breakthroughs so that no other children have to lose a parent, and no parent has to lose a child, before their time to blood cancer. Recently being nominated as one of Maryland’s 15 candidates for LLS’s Man & Woman of the Year campaign has only intensified my drive to raise money for this phenomenal non-profit. A great cause, some friendly competition and a delightful cocktail—sounds like the perfect combination to me!
Imbibe: Do you remember your first Negroni? Where did you drink it and what did you think?
Natalie: I grew up in a fine dining Italian restaurant called diFrancesco’s that was located in the downtown area of Frederick, MD. Naturally, my first sip of a Negroni was there. I’ll admit that my younger self was definitely not impressed with the drink but when I took a trip to Italy a few years ago I learned that my tastes have changed! I am now a strong believer in an artfully crafted Negroni!
Imbibe: How do you take your Negroni these days?
Natalie: I’m a traditionalist. I like my Negroni on the rocks with a twist of orange, using Hendrick’s gin. Something about the floral notes make Hendrick’s my go-to for whipping up a perfect Negroni. I’m a sucker for bubbles too, so on occasion— specifically those super-hot and humid summer days here in Baltimore—you can find me topping off my Negroni with some prosecco.
Imbibe: What will you be pouring during Negroni Week?
Natalie: We are staying on the traditional route. We’ll be pouring Hendrick’s Gin with Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth and Campari over ice with a twist of orange peel.
To learn more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman of the Year campaign click here. For more information on Natalie’s story or to donate to the cause, visit her fundraising page click here.