Negroni Week Toronto

How to celebrate Negroni Week in Toronto

Negroni Week is back in Toronto with even more participating bars than last year. And it's a good thing, after a hard day at work, few drinks satisfy quite as much as a deliciously bittersweet cocktail. Comprised of just three ingredients in equal proportion over ice -- gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth -- it packs a punch of alcohol.

Conceived by Italian lothario and fencing teacher Count Camillo Negroni in 1919, the drink is essentially an Americano cocktail with the soda water swapped out for gin. Legend has it that Count Negroni wasn't content with the timid amount of booze in his drink, and, fresh from his travels in the UK (where he'd acquired a taste for gin) ordered up a variation that had all of his native Florence demanding their drinks to be made 'the Negroni way.'

From June 1-7, over 3,000 of the world's best bars will band together to celebrate this classic cocktail for the third annual Negroni Week (it's the second time that Toronto has got in on the fun). Better yet, it's all for a good cause! Each participating bar is donating at least $1 from the sale of each Negroni to a charity of their choice.

Each venue will be showing off their iteration of the classic drink, either by getting picky with the gins and vermouths, adding extra flavours from cocktail bitters and other ingredients, or by swapping some of the elements out entirely for something different. You can't play with the cocktail too much, but subtle changes lead to big differences.

If you want to take part here in Toronto, there's 32 venues to choose from, with many bars and restaurants such as the County General opting to donate to Sick Kids, although animal lovers can stop by Home of the Brave or La Carnita to ensure that their revenues go to Paws for the Cause.

The Bristol will be donating to neighbouring CAMH, while Momofuku Nikai and El Caballito will be giving to the STOP Community Food Centre. Alternatively, Bar Isabel's proceeds will be going to the Native Women's Resource Centre of Toronto.

If anyone is willing to try all 32 in a week, both myself and your doctor would love to hear from you.

Alternatively, if you'd like to make yourself one at home, I hope you've already got your Campari, because the entire city is presently out of stock at time of publication, though you can always use Aperol in a pinch.

Photo by Franze Conde on Flickr

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