Today, June 4, is the official start of Negroni Week, an international event that capitalizes on the allure of the bittersweet cocktail to raise funds for worthy causes. Bars and restaurants around the world participate by donating a portion of their proceeds from negroni sales to the charity of their choice. (Since Negroni Week’s start in 2013, the event has raised nearly $1.5 million for non-profit organizations.)
Nearly 40 bars and restaurants in the Denver area have signed on for Negroni Week 2018. Each is offering its own take on the cocktail—some traditional Campari-gin-sweet-vermouth numbers, some nouveau creations—and all benefit worthy endeavors. Below are just a few of our favorite ways to celebrate this most delicious week.
The famed Highland speakeasy is serving an Instagram-worthy Red Light Negroni, made with equal parts Genever (a Dutch predecessor of London-style dry gin), Campari, and sweet vermouth, served in a bespoke light bulb decanter. The cocktail is a nod to the red-light district of Amsterdam, the home of Bols Genever. Proceeds benefit PAWS, an organization that helps to improve the lives of animals.
Wallet Dent: $12
3160 Tejon St., 303-997-8886
The Source’s Acorn restaurant is pouring a signature White Negroni made with Plymouth gin, Dolin Blanc vermouth, and Luxardo Bitter Bianco liqueur. Proceeds from the cocktail will go to No Kid Hungry, a non-profit organization that helps provide healthy meals to children in need.
Wallet Dent: $13
The Source, 3350 Brighton Blvd., 720-542-3721
RiNo’s Bar Helix, which specializes in this week’s honorary cocktail, created a full negroni menu for this year’s event. Variations on the classic include A Smoking Gun (made with Banhez mezcal, Bombay Sapphire gin, Campari, Casa Mariol Vermut, and Don Ciccio & Figli Concerto liqueur) and the cheekily-named Starf*cker (Aperol, Hendrick’s gin, Cocchi Americano); the house Bar Helix negroni, made with Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin, Montanaro Aperitivo, and Carpano Antica, a silky smooth delight of a drink, is also on the menu. Can’t decide which one to order? Don’t fret—Bar Helix is also offering a pairing, in which you can sample two small negronis from the special menu for $12. Oh, and you can spring for a negroni-filled crystal decanter to serve four people for $40. All proceeds support the Helen David Relief Fund, a charity that benefits bartenders and their families who have been affected by breast cancer.
Wallet Dent: $12 to $40
3440 Larimer St., 720-449-8587
Panzano is collaborating with Leopold Bros. on Thursday, June 7, to pour a special tipple using Leopold’s Aperitivo and Navy-strength gin. (Panzano will serve its standard house negroni during the rest of the week.) Proceeds will go towards the Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.
Wallet Dent: $10
909 17th St., 303-296-3525
Secret Sauce Food & Beverage group is upping the Negroni Week ante with a new punch card system. You’ll earn a punch when you drink a negroni at each Secret Sauce location (Vesta, Ace Eat Serve, Steuben’s Uptown and Steuben’s Arvada) that you can cash in for a prize at the last stop (think: swag, gift cards, etc.). Steuben’s Uptown will feature a classic negroni; Steuben’s Arvada will be serving a Negroni Patagonico made with Denver’s darling spirit, Träkál; Ace Eat Serve will have a Slushy de Negroni on tap; and Vesta will feature a tequila-based Añejo Negroni. All proceeds to support the Colorado Water Trust.
Wallet Dent: $10 to $12
Steuben’s Uptown: 523 East 17th Ave., 303-830-1001
Steuben’s Arvada: 7355 Ralston Rd., Arvada, 303-830-0096
Ace Eat Serve: 501 East 17th Ave., 303-800-7705
Vesta: 1822 Blake St., 303-296-1970