Did you know it’s Negroni Week? It couldn’t happen to a nicer cocktail—the bracing mixture of equal parts red vermouth, gin, and Campari is an old-school classic whose popularity has returned with the rise of Craft Cocktail Nation. Starting today and running through Sunday, the Imbibe Magazine– and Campari-sponsored event is where negronis give back—participating bars and restaurants worldwide donate proceeds to a charity of their choice from each negroni sold.
In Orange County, a dozen restaurants have elected to support Inspire Artistic Minds (IAM), the Orange-based nonprofit that funds artistic endeavors with an emphasis on the culinary and the cocktail. Bobby Navarro, whose 100Eats.com evolved from a blog chronicling his world-wide fine-dining journey into a culinary-event incubator, founded IAM to foster education and experience for those working in the food industry. Since its first awards less than a year ago, the charity has bestowed some $30,000 in scholarships and expenses.
Navarro, a negroni aficionado himself, has but one stipulation when ordering the drink: He asks for Carpano Antica vermouth, then leaves the choice of gin and any changeup on the Campari to the bartender—Aperol is a popular twist, for instance, but some go well beyond that. Wouldn’t Negroni Week be the perfect time to try a new variation? If you’re out and about, keep an eye peeled for Navarro in his distinctive orange scarf.
IAM-partnered Negroni Week establishments span the county, from Anepalco’s and Ways & Means in Orange to Broadway in Laguna Beach to Rosine’s Mediterranean in Anaheim Hills. Los Angeles’ Ink is on board, too, with negroni specials all week long, as well as a couple of San Diego restaurants. You can see the complete list supporting IAM here, and search all participating Negroni Week restaurants by city here.