Not every cocktail gets its own special day on the foodie calendar, but the Negroni managed to wrangle an entire week — and add a charitable component.
For this year’s Negroni Week — starting today through June 12 — bartenders from around the world are getting creative with the classic Campari-gin-vermouth combo, like Alta Linea’s summer-perfect frozen version and Charlie Palmer’s Crimson & Rye, which adds the spiced floral and berry aperitif Cocchi Rosa to their mix.
And these drinks are not just good for your happy hour mood: A portion of every Negroni-style cocktail sold goes to a charity of the bar’s choice.
Over 3,500 bars and restaurants took part in the event in 2015, and we’re guessing there’ll be even more twists being put on the classic Italian cocktail this time around. Here are some other outstanding options around the city.
Amaro Montenegro, an aged grape brandy infused with vanilla and orange peel, gives Amor y Amaro’s Dutch Monte a deep citrus note.
Joaquin Simo of Pouring Ribbons fell in love with Smith & Cross Jamaican rum on his first taste, and created the Kingston Negroni within five minutes, he recalls. “The first thought I had when smelling and tasting a huge, funky, estery, hogo-reeking, grilled banana bread, smoking allspice branches-laden brute of an overproof Jamaican rum was wondering how it would work in a stirred aperitivo,” he says. It’s sturdy enough to stand up to Carpano Antica sweet vermouth “while drying out the Campari’s richness and tempering its bitterness.”
Jane Danger, the mixologist at Mother of Pearl, charged bartender Max Green with creating a Polynesian-inspired Negroni. “We bounced around a few ideas and finally landed on recreating the modern tiki classic the Jungle Bird, taking all the components from the shaken tipple and finding them in spirit form, then balancing to deliver that same, juicy bittersweet kick,” he says. Green keeps the vermouth but swaps the gin for Cruzan Blackstrap, then finishes the Bitter Bird off with Plantation Pineapple and Scrappy’s lime bitters.
TheClover Club’s summery take that infuses Campari and Aperol with sweet strawberries to tame the cocktail’s bitterness.