There are cocktails… and then there are iconic cocktails. Composed of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, the Negroni is a straightforward classic with Italian roots going back more than a century. Every September, bars and restaurants around the world raise a glass to this bittersweet sipper for Negroni Week — a fundraising tradition born in Portland.
How it started
Imbibe Magazine, a Portland publication covering all things “liquid culture,” started Negroni Week in 2013 in partnership with liqueur company Campari America. Its goal was twofold: to celebrate the three-ingredient cocktail and raise money for charitable causes. About 120 venues joined the inaugural effort; today, thousands of venues around the world — from the Philippines to Brazil — participate in Negroni Week and have helped raise more than $4 million to date.
For one week, bartenders mix every iteration of the cocktail from traditional to inventive (think: Negroni slushies, spritzes, mezcal mashups, and more). This year, Negroni Week donations benefit one official partner: Slow Food.
How to partake
The 2023 Negroni Week starts Monday, Sept. 18, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 24. Supporting the cause (and tasting limited-run Negronis) is as easy as ordering a drink from the 100+ participating Portland venues.
Here are five spots to try.
Tropicale, 2337 NE Glisan St. | Aviation gin infused with charred pineapple, Campari, house-made vermouth infused with chilies, orange, and spices
The Fireside, 801 NW 23rd Ave. | St. George Terroir Gin, Campari, fig-balsamic shrub, egg white, and lemon
Straightaway Cocktails, 901 SE Hawthorne Blvd. | Negroni tasting flight
The Tavern at Heathman, 1001 SW Broadway | Three options, available individually or as a flight: Riverain gin with “vinegared” Campari; Negroni ice cream with espresso-infused Campari; orange-infused Aquavit with fig-infused Campari rim
The Rambler, 4205 N. Mississippi Ave. | “Just imagine Glen Close in a leather jacket” — Aviation gin, orange foam, shiso, strawberry, and coconut