Celebrate Negroni Week in Support of Great Area Charities
The simple 1:1:1 construct of the classic Negroni belies its depth and versatility. Somehow equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari (stirred, never shaken) achieves a perfect bittersweet balance that’s equally robust and refreshing. This cornerstone of the craft cocktail revival first appeared in “Sulle Tracce del Conte: La Vera Storia del Cocktail Negroni” by Lucca Picchi and now anchors most drink lists regardless of the season. Unlike the punches, fizzes, and highballs favored by meticulous mixologists though, the only theatric flourish on the Negroni is an occasional burnt orange peel. It doesn’t matter, this apéritif is as popular today as the Old Fashioned and Manhattans still riding high because of Don Draper and Mad Men.
Starting today through June 8, bars around the world will be observing Negroni Week, with proceeds from the cocktails benefitting a charity of each establishments choice. The Campari-centric celebration is the brainchild of Imbibe magazine, which started Negroni Week to raise funds for various charitable causes around the globe. Now in its second year, over 1,000 bars and restaurants in 12 countries are participating, up from 120 in its inaugural year.
In the Boston-area alone, over 50 restaurants have joined the cause in support of non-profits as varying as Mother Against Drunk Driving, The Leary Firefighters Foundation, and Lovin’ Spoonfuls. And it’s not just bartenders and restauranteurs rallying behind Negroni Week, local spirits maker GrandTen Distilling has been donating bottles of its Wire Works gin to encourage participation.
Customers can satisfy their Negroni hankerings in several ways too. Take Sam Treadway’s Campari and orange juice-infused milk punch at Backbar or Joy Richards bitter jelly shots at The Franklin Café. Negroni Week seems to have inspired a degree of creative one-upsmanship with beverage directors like Kevin Mabry at JM Curley assembling single serving bottles made with a Spruce tip-infused gin, amber vermouth, and carbonated Campari to complement pastry chef Kate Holowchik’s Negroni carrot cake. At The Kirkland Tap and Trotter, Jared Sandoian whipped up a giant batch of Negronis that he’s bottled in large format bottles and cellared since 2013. And the team at Park Restaurant and Bar in Harvard Square has created several variations on the classic recipe with concoctions like a Contessa (gin, Aperol, Cocchi Americano) and The Slinger (gin, jalapeno-infused Aperol, lemon juice, pale ale) to round out their all Negroni menu.
Below is a map of all the participating bars and restaurants in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville. Just click on the icons for a listing of their address, directions, and the respective charity they’ve chosen to represent.
Photography provided by Caitlin Cunningham Photography.