Perfection (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Perfection (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Ah, the Negroni — one part gin, one part Campari, one part vermouth, but all parts refreshing, bitter sophistication. The Italian-born drink was immaculately conceived in 1919 by a bartender who, looking to make a drink called the Americano boozier, swapped soda water out for gin. It’s great either on the rocks or up — we’ve even seen a dangerously boozy frozen version that’s perfect for summer (but not for dignified nights) at the Narrows.
Sure, this bitter slurper’s got only three simple ingredients and an orange peel for garnish (take note: slices are for dilettantes), but it truly takes an attentive bartender to pull off a perfectly balanced one. And yes, gender-conforming gentlemen, Negronis are approximately the same color as a Cosmopolitan, but like all “girly” things, you’d be a fool to underestimate their toughness.
We could wax poetic forever on this cocktail and usually we act on our deep love for such things in moderation, but if you could only see how we’ve been acting this week gulping these babies one after one as if the apocalypse had already gone down, you’d be disappointed to pieces, but excuse our bad behavior because it’s NEGRONI WEEK.
If you’re thinking, well, this is nothing but corporate mumbo-jumbo fashioned as a legitimate holiday, you’re only partially right. Thankfully, there’s a philanthropic bent to this whole thing: most participating bars are donating $1 for every Negroni sold to charitable organizations like the Global Smile Foundation, the Children’s Aid Society, and City Harvest.
(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Among those taking par in our nabes, we picked Montana’s Trail House in Bushwick as the bar of honor because they’ve gone the extra mile and created four special variations on the Negroni just for this week. Cheers guys, for real. Our personal favorite is the Old Pal, which throws the gin out with the baby in favor of Rye Whiskey. Hell yeah.
The specials at Montana's Trail House (Photo: Nicole Disser)

The specials at Montana’s Trail House (Photo: Nicole Disser)

A bartender at Dram in Williamsburg told us their drink du jour each day this week will be a riff on a classic Negroni — when we called yesterday it was Old Tom Gin, Aperol, and Dolin Rouge Vermouth. Dutch Kills in Long Island City guessed they’ll “probably be doing variants” as well.  The good people at Forrest Point in Bushwick at first didn’t seem to know what a Negroni was, before a manager confirmed that the bar was participating “We’re keeping it simple,” he said. Among East Village establishments participating we’ve got Pouring Ribbons, Boilermaker, and Death & Co. On the Lower East Side, stop by Mother’s Ruin, Nitecap, and Kitty’s Canteen.
See the full list of participating places (including some Italian restaurants) here.
Negroni week runs from Monday June 1st through Sunday June 7th.