If you’re out drinking next week, make it a Negroni. Dozens of local bars will donate at least $1 for each Negroni sold to a good cause.
A global campaign sponsored by Imbibe
magazine and Campari, Negroni Week
(June 2-8) is designed to give back to local causes by way of the summery classic of equal parts gin, ruby Campari and vermouth.
bartender Becca June Conklin (secretary of the local chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild
) is spearheading the local effort, with help from Tales of the Cocktail
staff and bartenders Pailinn Petthong (Bourbon “O” Bar) and Carrie Dumaine (Grand Isle
Conklin wanted to stir up enthusiasm for Negroni Week in New Orleans after being part of the event last year in her native Portland, Oregon. She has asked local bars to support the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation
(NOMAF) because, “They reach so many different parts of the community,” she says.
The NOMAF clinic offers low-cost health care to musicians and other artists (DJs, vocalists, actors), including cultural groups such as the Mardi Gras Indians.
NOMAF also seeks to protect musicians’ hearing with its Safe Sounds initiative. Addressing decibel levels in live music venues also benefits bartenders. “We stick together,” Conklin says.
Countless Negroni variations switch up the mix of spirit, bitter liqueur and fortified wine. Next week, look for these variations:
Bourbon “O” Bar at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel serves Conklin’s
Love Interruption, featuring Cocchi Americano, mezcal, Campari and a pinot noir-salted ice ball
, Mark Schettler offers his Classic Negroni — with gin, Campari, sweet vermouth and optional prosecco float. His Pink Negroni features white rhum agricole, white vermouth, Campari and optional rose float. The Boulevardier combines bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth and a pale ale float is optional. The add-ons cost an extra $2, all of which will be donated to NOMAF.
At the Cocktail Bar at the Windsor Court Hotel
, Kent Westmoreland offers a classic Negroni and two variations. Panama Red combines Panamanian rum, Campari and sweet vermouth. His Boulevardier features Maker’s Mark, Campari and sweet vermouth.
At Root Squared
Max Messier serves a White Port Negroni with gin, Campari and white port. The “Sonicated” Negroni is quick-barrel aged using a SonicPrep and includes gin, Campari and Moscato-based vermouth. South of the Border features Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Aperol and citrusy amaro. His Boulevardier consists of Elijah Craig 12 year bourbon, Campari and Moscato-based vermouth.
There is a list including 41 participating New Orleans area bars and restaurants here
Some bars have designated their fundraising proceeds to go to charities such as Hogs for the Cause and Women with a Vision.
There also are special events. Dames de Perlage, a Mardi Gras group preserving the tradition of costuming beadwork, celebrates Negroni Week at Twelve Mile Limit