Break out the Campari, and stock up on orange twists — Negroni Week 2018 is here!
Each year, bars and restaurant across the country celebrate this classic cocktail while raising money for a good cause.
The Negroni has been around for almost a century. The most widely reported and accepted story of this cocktail origination comes from Florence, Italy in 1919 at Cafe Casoni.
The story goes that Count Camillo Negroni asked his bartender to make his favorite drink — the Americano — a bit stronger, so he added gin instead of soda water.
We here at SaraBozich.com//Cheers Harrisburg love a good Negroni. It’s simple and is a perfect drink at the end of a long day. We even like to mix it up with Boulevardiers, a variation on the Negroni, that subs bourbon for the gin.
There’s no doubt we’ll be celebrating with a ruby red libation of our own sometime this week. Here are a few ways to celebrate Negroni Week locally or at home.
Negroni Week’s Purpose
Before we get into how we should first talk about why we’re celebrating.
Negroni Week launched in 2013 to help raise money for a variety of charities.
In its first year, Negroni Week reached about 120 venues but since has grown to include more than 7,700 venues. In total, their efforts have raised $1.5 million for charitable causes.
Each participating venue selects a cause to support from a list of Negroni Week’s official charity partners and is listed on Negroni Week’s site.
If you think making an elegant cocktail at home is too difficult, think again. This is Sara’s go-to cocktail — Campari, sweet vermouth (keep it in your fridge after opening!), and gin are staples of my bar cart.
The classic Negroni is three simple ingredients: Equal parts Vermouth, Campari, and gin — about an ounce of each.
Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice and shake until chilled, and then strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
Add an orange twist to make it look good for Instagram, and you’re ready to imbibe.
If you don’t have these ingredients on hand, there are many accepted variations of the cocktail. Sub low-alcohol Aperol to tame the bitterness but keep the blood orange flavor; sub dry vermouth in lieu of sweet; trade gin for the liquor of your choice (we like tequila or even mezcal for a smoky approach).
This one is Intern Jimi’s favorite. This variation simply subs bourbon instead of gin.
Bourbon adds a certain richness, and a bit of sweetness, instead of the bitter and citrus flavors of the gin. If you still want a bit of a bite to the cocktail, use a rye bourbon for an added spice.
If you know us, you know we love our tequila. By now, you can also see we love our Negronis. It only makes sense that we would love the combo.
This cocktail still uses a 1:1:1 ratio, but utilizes Blanco tequila instead of gin, and a few drops of salt water for an added depth of flavor.
This is a little bit more involved, but the results sound extremely refreshing. Also, rosé is another SaraBozich.com staple, so it’s natural that this variation would make our list.
Gone is the gin and vermouth, and instead, this recipe calls for, you guessed it, rosé. You’ll need both still rosé and sparkling rosé along with grapefruit bitters and Cocchi Roja.
Negroni Week Specials
Use the Negroni Week website to find participating bars near you.
Little Amps “Rosie Lea”
Negroni Week is nothing new for Little Amps. Each year they create a Negroni-inspired mocktail they serve all week long at their Green Street and State Street locations.
This year’s mocktail, entitled “Rosie Lea,” is a play off a White Negroni. A White Negroni is another variation on the classic cocktail. It uses Lillet Blanc instead of vermouth and Suze in place of the Compari.
Little Amps non-alcoholic version uses cold brewed Oolong Tea, herb-infused dealcoholized white wine, and tonic water.
I know I’ll be stopping by at least once throughout the week to grab one of these.
Rubicon + Little Amps Negroni Week event
If you’re into Little Amps’ mocktail, you’re going to want to head to Rubicon for Spun Out: Negroni Week Edition Happy Hour from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, June 7.
The two are teaming up to put make this mocktail into a cocktail. Rubicon’s cocktail features Oolong Tea-infused Beefeater Gin, Suze, and Lillet.
That plus a dozen oysters sounds like a perfect happy hour to me.
Little Amps chose to support The Giving Kitchen as their charity for the week. The Giving Kitchen is a charity that provides emergency assistance and support to restaurant workers and other industry workers. Little Amps will donate 20 percent of the sales of “Rosie Lea,” and Rubicon will donate 20 percent of their sales of the cocktail to the same cause.
Ad Lib Craft Kitchen + Bar
Hilton’s in-house bar is celebrating Negroni Week as they know best: Barrel-aged Negronis — one classic and three variations. They’ve selected Fisher House Foundation as their charity.
- Classic Negroni – Hayman’s London Dry Gin, Campari, M&R Sweet Vermouth
- Blond – Hayman’s London Dry Gin, Salers Gentian Liqueur, Dolin Blanc
- Tegroni – Sauza Blue Silver, Campari, M&R Sweet Vermouth
- The Bittersweet Garden – Hayman’s London Dry Gin, Campari, Green Chartreuse, Dolin Blanc, Fernet Branca, Luxardo Maraschino
Bricco also is participating in Negroni Week and also has selected Fisher House Foundation as their charity. They will feature a classic Negroni with Bombay London Dry Gin, Campari, and Sweet Vermouth.