Behold The Great Negroni [Week]!
It’s happening. The weather that was so recently crisp and fragrant, recovering a dormant earth from its slumber, has woken up...and now is quickly heating up. The only relief in sight? A Negroni. Just in time for summer, and for one whole week every June, this classic sweet-and-yet-still-bitter, bright-red Italian favorite of those who imbibe (imbibers, if you will) makes a special appearance on menus around the world.
Before I go too far, and in case you don’t know, a Negroni is made up of three simple ingredients: Campari, gin, and vermouth. But you’ll see a lot of twists and variations featured alongside the classic we know and love. Versions may include bourbon and bitters or tequila and dry vermouth. They may be served in a coupe or perhaps in a rocks glass. There are numerous ways to play on the original and so many to try.
Okay, now that you know what a negroni is, I’ll tell you about having an entire week dedicated to this glorious classic cocktail.
Negroni Week is the brainchild of Imbibe, a dedicated week launched in 2013 with a mission to celebrate one of the world’s best cocktails while also raising money for charities worldwide. In 2014, they partnered with Campari to increase their exposure and the rest is history - just four years later, they’ve expanded to more than 7,700 venues and have raised nearly $1.5 million to date for charitable causes. This year, Negroni Week runs from Monday, June 4th to Sunday, June 10th and becoming a participant is actually pretty dang easy - all a venue has to do is sign up on NegroniWeek.com, choose a charity from their official Negroni Week partners, and make an immediate donation to their charity of choice - venues can add additional donations from the proceeds of their sales if they’re feeling extra generous.
In Nashville, we’re pretty lucky. There is no shortage of bars and restaurants hopping on the Negroni-train - including Pinewood, Attaboy, The Patterson House, Pastaria, Bastion, The Band Box, and more. Take a look at the full list of Nashville participants here.
Really feeling the Negroni Week vibe? Want some more NW-themed fun? Catch Tony Galzin of Nicky’s Coal Fired at The Band Box on Thursday, June 7th, serving up his famous Italian beef sandwich (which has quite the cult following of its own) alongside a Frozen Negroni Slushy prepared by Nicky’s’ Beverage Director Tracy Ardoin-Jenkins. Her Frozen Negroni will be available throughout Nashville Sounds’ home games during Negroni Week (a.k.a June 5-11).
So, whether you see the drink half bitter or half sweet, you really have no reason not to find a way to participate in this worldwide event. Could you ask for a better way to kick off summer?