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5 spots to visit in Portland for Negroni Week

For one week every September, bars and restaurants around the world mix up traditional and creative takes on the classic three-part cocktail — for a cause.

A tumbler glass on a white table, filled with dark amber-colored fluid, a large ice cube, and an orange twist.

What’s your pick: classic or creative?

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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.

A hand with red fingernails holds a stemmed cocktail glass full of orange liquid, ice cubes, and an orange slice.

Some participating venues, like Little Bitter Bar, will offer an entire Negroni menu to sample.

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

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