With more than 3,900 bars around the world participating, Negroni Week has become a huge fundraiser for charitable causes since first launching in 2013. And in Austin, that’s no exception.
The fundraiser is simple: Participating bars choose the nonprofit to which they want to donate proceeds from the Negroni cocktail and then offer the Negroni — a classic cocktail made up of equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari — on the menu through Sunday, as well as a couple of fun riffs on it. The Negroni, beautifully botanical, sweet and bitter in turns, is a simple but tasty drink for bartenders to play with.
Here’s a list of some of the Austin bars taking part in Negroni Week and the cocktails they are selling. $1 of each one sold goes toward the charity of their choice.
- Backbeat, 1300 S. Lamar Blvd. Benefiting the Mary Lee Foundation. The southern sister bar to Drink.Well is offering a classic Negroni, with Ford’s London Dry Gin, Cocchi di Torino Vermouth and Campari, as well as variations like the Tehuana Trio, with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Coconut-Washed Bianco Vermouth and Capelleti Aperitivo Rosso, and the Right Hand, with aged rum, Punt e Mes vermouth, Campari and smoked chocolate bitters.
- Cantine, 1100 S. Lamar Blvd. Benefiting Austin Pets Alive. The Italian restaurant in the Lamar Union development is getting seasonal with the Negroni and offering the Sylvari Negroni, with of jamaica-infused mezcal, chamomile infused Cocchi, Gran Classico and saffron bitters.
- Counter 357, 315 Congress Ave. Benefiting MusicTechandFood.org. The detail-focused restaurant, which recently added a menu of cocktails, has a classic Negroni and a Negroni Blanc, with Hendrick’s Gin, La Quintinye Extra Dry and Dolin Blanc de Chambery, in the works this week.
- Drink.Well, 207 E. 53rd St. Benefiting Lifeworks Austin. The North Loop bar is keeping the Negroni Week options classic, with the traditional Negroni and all of its recognized riffs on the menu, from the White Negroni, with gin, suze and Dolin Blanc, to the Trident, with aquavit, fino sherry, Cynar and peach bitters.
- Geraldine’s at Hotel Van Zandt, 605 Davis St. Benefiting Kids in a New Groove. The live music-focused bar and restaurant off Rainey Street is offering the Velvet Voice, with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Campari, hibiscus-infused Dolin Rouge and orange bitters.
- Italic, 123 W. Sixth St. Benefiting the Sustainable Food Center. The downtown Italian restaurant is offering a couple of Negroni Week events in addition to cocktails, with guest bartender Jason Kosmas stepping behind the bar to serve up Italic’s house Negroni with Fords Gin.
- Peche, 208 W. Fourth St. Benefiting Paws in Prison. The absinthe-loving bar isn’t leaving the Green Fairy behind with its Frapponi, with absinthe, Campari and house-made orgeat. For something lighter, try the Titoni, with Tito’s Vodka, Campari and sparkling wine.
- The Roosevelt Room, 307 W. Fifth St. Benefiting Austin’s Children Shelter. The downtown bar offering a veritable education in cocktail history is whipping up the the Perfect Bloom, with Beefeater Gin, Dolin Blanc, Amaro Montenegro and Fusion Verjus Blanc, in honor of Negroni Week.
- Small Victory, 108 E. Seventh St. Benefiting Urban Roots. The tiny downtown cocktail bar has two Negroni twists in store for patrons, including the Rosita, with reposado tequila, dry and sweet vermouth, Campari and Angostura bitters, and the Negroni Colada, with Campari, bianco vermouth, gin, cream, house coconut cream and pineapple.
- Visconti Bar at Hotel Granduca Austin, 320 S. Capital of Texas Hwy. Benefiting the St. David’s Foundation. The bar at this Tuscan-inspired hotel on the west side of town isn’t missing out on selling the Italian cocktail. This week, look for the Negroni Milano, with Bombay Sapphire Gin, Campari, Martini Rossi Rosso and a flame-kissed orange peel, and the Boulevardier, a classic Negroni riff, with bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth.
And last but not least is Juliet, an Italian restaurant on Barton Springs Road that has a menu of Negroni riffs all year round. The bar, led by beverage director Jeramy Campbell, is going all out for the special week with everything from a Tiki Negroni, with Campari, gin, Carpano Antica, pineapple, coconut water, simple syrup, lime juice, ginger beer and bitters, to the Frozen Negroni, with Campari, gin, Carpano Antica, lemon juice and simple syrup, garnished with a Negroni fruit-roll-up.
The restaurant at 1500 Barton Springs Road is even offering the cocktail in food form. Try the Negroni Pizza, which comes with mushrooms, garlic, scallions, fennel and shallots infused in Campari, along with mozzarella and fontina cheese, a basil pomadoro sauce and a Carpano Antica-reduction glazed over the top.
All those Negronis at Juliet are benefiting Communities in Schools.
For more information about Negroni Week, including a full list of participating Austin bars and restaurants, visit negroniweek.com. Negroni Week starts today and runs through June 12, but keep an eye on individual bar hours for when to go (Backbeat, for instance, isn’t opened on Mondays).