You’ll never forget your first… negroni, that is.
My first ever negroni was like a first kiss gone horribly wrong: we knocked teeth (actually, my two front teeth hit the rim of my glass because it was too dark to see properly); it was slobbery; and we just didn’t really connect. At the time, I liked bitterness in my cocktails about as much as I like stepping on chewing gum in flip flops on the Times Square subway platform.
All that changed, however, once I tried a negroni at August Laura in Brooklyn last year. Their negroni was boozy, to be sure, but also well balanced and had just enough bite to leave me wanting more. I’ve finally warmed up to the drink, which is traditionally made with equal parts gin, campari, and vermouth rosso. It’s a good thing that I have, because August Laura is participating in Negroni Week 2017!
What’s Negroni Week?
Negroni Week started in 2013 as a way to celebrate a killer classic cocktail and raise money for charities across the globe while you knock back a glass. It’s presented by Imbibe Magazine and Campari — a perfect marriage, if you ask me — and has grown from 100 participating venues to 6,000 in only three years’ time.
This year’s Negroni Week runs from June 5 to June 11, 2017, which means you still have six more days to get your butt over to one of the thousands of participating venues.
What Bars Are Participating in Negroni Week 2017?
For all you folks out there that thought this would be an NYC only event and planned to stop reading this post, you’re wrong! Bars all over the world are participating, from Sweden and Thailand to Buenos Aires and the San Francisco Bay Area. Even Oklahoma’s getting in on the action! The Negroni Week website has a handy dandy “Find A Venue” feature where you can look up participating bars here.
This post was delayed in coming soon to a laptop near you because I was busy conducting some very serious research yesterday *cough cough.* Here’s a taste of what you can expect from some of this year’s Negroni Week venues.
79 Macdougal St, New York, NY
Hours: Open daily, 10:00 AM until late (1:00 or 2:00 AM most days)
Dante was one of those holy @#$! experiences for me. In fact, I called Mr. Five O’Clock while he was on the subway to tell him that Dante’s lavender negroni “was 1000% life-changing.”
Why? Because I felt like I was Dorothy in “Wizard of Oz” if she had encountered an endless boozy lavender field instead of those nefarious poppies. It was like drinking a bottle of lavender cologne and getting some free aromatherapy for happy hour. I even made three new solo lady friends just straight chillin’ with some negronis at the bar.
Dante’s lavender negroni is comprised of Citadelle gin, Cocchi Rosa (which is infused with lavender for two hours), Gran Classico (which is in the same family as Campari), and lavender bitters. The delicious libation is part of their Negroni Week menu, which includes pretty much all of their typical “Negroni Sessions” menu. Negronis are $10 during 3:00 to 6:00 PM during June 5 to June 11.
Dante is also serving a Negroni Float exclusively for Negroni Week 2017. It’s basically an adult version of the best boozy milkshake you’ll ever have. At $14, it includes Brooklyn Gin, Coochi Torino, Contratto Bitter, Blood Orange Soda, and a special negroni gelato made for Dante by OddFellows Ice Cream Co.
Drinking For A Cause: For each negroni you buy this week, Dante will donate $1 to God’s Love We Deliver, a charity that delivers nutritious meals to people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves throughout the New York City metropolitan area.
The Up & Up
116 Macdougal St, New York, NY
Hours: Open Sundays to Wednesdays from 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM and Thursdays to Saturdays from 5:00 PM to 3:00 AM
The Up & Up is literally steps away from Dante, which made it an extremely easy decision to ask Mr. Five O’Clock to meet me there for a drink.
The Up & Up has a section on their menu that features “Insanely Good” versions of classic drinks, so it makes sense that they’d create an “Insanely Good Negroni” ($15) for Negroni Week. This version features Citadelle Gin, Campari, Dolin Vermouth Blanc, and watermelon.
Drinking For A Cause: For each Insanely Good Negroni you buy this week, The Up & Up will donate $1 to Little Free Library, an educational charity that builds free lending libraries in over 70 countries around the world.
387 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY
Hours: Open Mondays to Saturdays, 6:00 PM until late
In addition to their delectable classic negroni — composed of Bulldog gin, Campari, and Carpano Antica sweet vermouth — August Laura will be serving two additional twists on the negroni this week.
Fan of smoky drinks? Try their Mezcal Negroni, which features Campari, mezcal infused with black peppercorn, and Bonal. For something completely different, check out their Shochu Negroni, which includes Mizu Shochu, Campari, and St. Germain.
Drinking For A Cause: For each negroni you buy this week, August Laura will donate $1 to SHARE, a charity that provides dedicated, experienced support for women facing breast and ovarian cancers.
Where Can I Find Out More?
Learn more at the Negroni Week website, which is easy to remember (it’s negroniweek.com).
Be sure to also check out the Negroni Week Passport, which lists 10 participating bars in 10 major U.S. cities, including New Orleans, Minneapolis, and Atlanta. It’s like Negroni Lovers Bingo: do you think can you get all 10 bars knocked off in a row?
Challenge accepted, folks. Challenge accepted. Because, after all, it’s a beautiful day
to have a drink to save lives!
All costs associated with this article were paid by me, and all opinions are my own. I really like good cocktails, so why not be honest about it? Cheers!