A classic Negroni cocktail involves equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. This week, over 6,000 bars, restaurants and retailers around the world are offering their own variations of the beverage as part of the third annual international Negroni Week, an initiative of Imbibe magazine and Campari. For every Negroni sold, $1 will go to a charity of choice at each participating location.
Asheville bars have participated in Negroni Week since its inception in 2013. “We have a really wonderful, burgeoning cocktail scene,” says Kala Brooks, the organizer of this year’s local events. Brooks says she views Asheville’s involvement as mutually beneficial. The weeklong celebration, which began on Tuesday, June 6, and runs through Sunday, June 12, highlights Asheville’s cocktail professionals, Brooks says, while also bringing attention to “local charitable causes.”
Throughout the week there will be several sponsored events. The week kicked off Tuesday with an evening cookout at Post 70 followed by a party at Top of the Monk, both featuring Botanist Gin. On Thursday, June 9, The Imperial Life and Botanist Gin will team up 8-11 p.m. to celebrate the history of the Negroni with live music from the Roaring Lions. On Friday, June 10, Beefeater Gin will host an event at The Nightbell, as well as a Saturday evening celebration at MG Road, which will include an ice luge with Negroni shots and flights.
As was the case last year, an official Negroni Week Passport Card will be offered at participating restaurants and bars. These passports will include information about the week’s events as well as functioning as a reward system. Customers receive one stamp at every participating bar where they buy a Negroni. Two stamps gains the holder entry to the official Campari Negroni Week Party on Sunday, June 12, at the Social Lounge.
“It’s a really big, wonderful event for the community,” says Brooks. “Our town has an amazing, vibrant, fresh cocktail scene with some fantastic minds leading the way, and people around the country are beginning to take notice.”