This week, Campari and Imbibe bring us Negroni Week, a celebration of a beloved classic cocktail — and an easy way to raise money for charitable causes. From June 2-8, 17 local bars will donate $1 from every Negroni sold to a charity of the bar’s choice. Who can beat drinking for a good cause?
“We launched Negroni Week last year, and it was a very spur of the moment idea, but within a couple of weeks had over 120 bars and restaurants around the country signed up to donate $1 of every Negroni sale to the charity of their choice,” said Karen Foley, publisher of Imbibe Magazine. “Based on the response, we decided to get more serious about the idea. We partnered with Campari and the US Bartenders Guild to help build the momentum. We now have more than 1,000 bars signed up from around the world.”
The Negroni is an Italian cocktail invented in the early 1900s and typically is served as an aperitif. A classic Negroni is pretty straight-forward. The sexy red drink is simply equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth served with a twist of orange. It’s the perfect yin and yang of sweet and bitter with a boozy spank.
Participating Austin bartenders will mix up their favorite Negroni variations. To kick off Negroni Week, we share our five favorite spots (and a few recipes, too).
Searsucker is tapping a cask of barrel-aged “rum-gronie,” and will serve refreshing drinks for $12. “We are serving drinks from barrel of rum-groni, which I made by aging El Dorado Rum, Comapri and sweet Vermouth in a 20 liter barrel for two months,” said Tyler Naumann, beverage director. “Rum is my favorite spirit to work with and barrel-aged rum is sweet. It goes well with lime and it’s great to drink when it’s hot outside. I used a virgin, first char barrel for this batch. The barrel calms down the bitterness of the Campari and added a smoky vibe that rounds it out in a cool way.”
Searsucker also offers a traditional Negroni made with Fords Gin and a tequila version called Amargo, using Casamigos tequila. Proceeds will benefit Austin Pets Alive!.
With a new mezcal bar, Mezcalería Tobalá, perched upstairs from its main bar, Whisler’s enters Negroni Week with smoky Mexican flair. Rather than the traditional gin, mezcal graces the Whisler’s Negroni. Proceeds will benefit Austin Music Foundation.
The bartenders at this North Loop neighborhood cocktail den will mix three variations on the Negroni including the classic Negroni, the Negroni Fragola and La Conquistadora with proceeds benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. On Wednesday, Drink.Well. will serve Genius Gin for an all-night happy hour in Negronis for $6 all night.
- 1.5 ounce Plymouth Gin
- .75 ounce strawberry-infused Dolin Blanc vermouth
- .75 ounce Campari
- 2 dashes Regan’s Orange bitters
Stirred and served up in a coupe and garnished with a strawberry slice floating on the surface.
W Hotel Austin
The swanky Living Room bars in the W Hotel Austin is mixing three twists on the Negroni cocktail concocted by Living Room bar manager Will Rogers and head libationist Dustin Courtright.
“The exciting thing about Negroni Week is taking a classic cocktail and putting a new spin on it. We’ve loved the Negroni and have had different versions on our menu like a sparkling Negroni with sparkling wine instead of vermouth and also have one with Lillet instead of vermouth. These drinks appeal to the evolving, sophisticated cocktail scene in Austin,” said Rogers. Proceeds from the MacGroni, Innocente and Portuguese Negroni will benefit the Young Chamber of Commerce.
- 1 ounce The Glenlivet
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
Served with a lemon twist.
The Bonneville is introducing The Coqueta, which it describes as a more feminine style Negroni made by substituting Campari with Aperol (slightly less bitter)and topping it with bright and bubbly Prosecco. The drink will benefit PAWS of Austin.
- 1 ounce No. 3 Gin
- 1 ounce Aperol
- 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
Top with Prosecco and garnish with bruleed orange slice.
Participating bars are:
- Bar Congress, supporting The Barman’s Fund
- Clive Bar, supporting Get Your Rear In Gear
- Drink.Well., supporting Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- East Side Show Room, supporting Austin Pets Alive!
- Four Seasons Hotel, supporting Austin Partners in Education
- Freedmen’s, supporting Glimmer of Hope
- Half Step, supporting Health Alliance for Austin Musicians
- Living Room Bar at The W, supporting Austin Young Chamber of Commerce
- Mettle, supporting Austin Pets Alive!
- Midnight Cowboy, supporting Sierra Club
- Péché, supporting Lifeworks
- Searsucker, supporting Austin Pets Alive!
- Second Bar + Kitchen, supporting The Barman’s Fund
- The Bonneville, supporting PAWS of Austin
- The Tigress, supporting Austin Pets Alive!
- Volstead, supporting Wounded Warrior
- Whisler’s, supporting Austin Music Foundation