Jewel-like and delightfully complex, the Negroni reigns over the cocktail world as a sophisticated alternative to more saccharine drinks. They’re even more enjoyable when they help you give back.
Back for its sixth year, Campari and Imbibe Magazine’s Negroni Week returns to Austin June 4-10 for seven days celebrating Italy’s most lasting contribution to mixology. Here’s how it works: order a featured drink from a participating bar or restaurant and it will donate some of the proceeds to their chosen charity.
It's a win-win, right? Now it's time to raise your glass. Scan through the full list of drinkeries here, but if you need a little help making a decision, read on for some delicious highlights.
Three times the charm at this downtown New American mainstay. For $10 during Negroni Week, select from a trio of drinks including the Pacific Isle made with pineapple infused Campari, Cocchi Americano, and barrel-aged rum; the Roselle using hibiscus-infused gin, Aperol, and St. Germaine; and the by-the-book Traditional. Proceeds go to help save furry friends through PAWS of Austin.
District Kitchen + Cocktails
Who says a Negroni has to be a cocktail? Not District pastry chef Dennis Van, who used the Negroni Week prompt to create a dessert made with barrel-aged Campari, vanilla bean panna cotta, and blood and grapefruit gelée. His complex and bright treat will raise funds for Lambda Legal, an organization that protects LGBT+ civil rights.
Achieve grapeness (sorry) at this Rainey Street trendsetter, which is using the fruit in two sippers to raise money for women’s breast cancer support nonprofit SHARE. Try the Enzoni with the conventional gin or go a little darker for the rye-based Garibaldi. Both have lemon and sugar for a well-balanced drink.
A rainbow of Negronis await at chef Callie Speer’s all-day diner. The original version comes in striking red, but you can also order a white Negroni made with Suze bitters and Cocchi Americano, a pink mixing in Aperol and Cocchi Rosa, or a black using Punt e Mes aperitif and Jagermeister. The featured charity is Trigger’s Toys, an organization that works to ease the emotional and financial stress on sick children.
The contemporary Italian restaurant may be known for delightfully complex cocktails, but it's keeping it simple for Negroni Week. Benefiting No Kid Hungry, the trio includes a traditional version made with Waterloo gin, a bubbly rework subbing in Prosecco, and the Old Pal — a recipe that sneaks dry vermouth in instead of the sweet.
Despite its fast food-inspired name, the Whatanegroni doesn’t use ketchup or mustard. Instead, fresh watermelon is blended with Fords gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth for a summery sipper that gives to the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, which provides low cost care to musical performers and other cultural workers.
Salt Traders Coastal Cooking
This year, Jack Gilmore’s seafood eatery didn’t play with the Negroni formula, using a straightforward recipe with Fords gin and Carpano Antica sweet vermouth. But it did decide to mess around with Negroni Week’s timeframe, extending the week until June 30 so you’ll have plenty of chances to give back to coastal environmental organization Surfrider Foundation.
South Congress Hotel
The lobby bar in this luxurious hotel features one of the more verdant takes on the classic formula, using a dill tincture and sprig to add some just-out-of-the-garden flavor to traditional gin and Campari duo. Just for good measure, the bartender throws in Cocchi Americano and genepy des alps, using the same herb that gives Chartreuse its trademark pungency. The featured charity is another Italian classic: Slow Food International.
Also benefiting No Kid Hungry, this East Austin favorite has a rebellious Negroni menu that throws out gin entirely. The Sitting a Spell uses Wild Turkey bourbon, tangerine-infused Cocchi Americano, Campari, and Cointreau. Another Day in Paradise mixes Bols genever (the predecessor to gin), strawberry syrup, and cardamom, among other spirits. And the Rabbit’s Negroni builds off of mezcal and Spanish vermouth.