Negroni Week 2018: The Houston Bars & Restaurants Making Cocktails For Charity – Updated
Negroni Week is returning on June 4 and runs through June 10. It’s a national, week-long celebration of the classic cocktail that also fundraisers for many different charities. Launched in 2013 by Imbibe magazine and Campari, Negroni Week has raised more than $1.5 million for charitable causes.
Bars and restaurants across the Bayou City are taking part in this year’s event. Cocktail lovers can order a classic Negroni with gin, Campari and sweet vermouth or a creative variation on the drink. Either way, a portion of the price is going to select charities. (The official list of non-profit organizations is on the Negroni Week website.)
Here’s a list of participating bars and restaurants in Houston, as well as the drinks offered and charities that are benefitting.
Ambrosia, 2003 Lexington: The pan-Asian restaurant in the Upper Kirby area is offering a Negroni with a Japanese twist. The Toki Negroni features Suntory Japanese whiskey, Campari, gin and a dash of Angostura bitters. Proceeds from the drink will benefit Trigger’s Toys, a charity that provides toys to children with cancer.
Blue Onyx Bistro, 4720 Richmond: Bar program leader Mark “Howie” Voros is doing a rum riff on the classic cocktail for Negroni Week. His Wretched Wench is a blend of Wray and Nephew Jamaican rum, Carpano Antica and vermouth. Proceeds from the drink’s sales go to Muttville, a rescue organization for older dogs.
Coltivare, 3320 White Oak: Chef Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber’s acclaimed Heights restaurant is offering a selection of cocktails for Negroni Week and donating to No Kid Hungry. The drink list includes:
Southern Bark with Carpono Antica, Plantation farm rum, Luxardo amaro, Cynar and Wild Turkey Rye; Battle Royale with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Tempus Fugit Kina L’Aero d’Or, Kinsman Apricot Brandy, Suze liqueur and agave; Negroni de Miguel with Paranubes Rum, Amer Sauvage, Punt e Mes, Nardini, black garlic tincture and grapefruit zest; Negroni Desalvo with Gran Classico, Kina L’aero d’Or, Dolin Dry, Barolo Chinato and the happiest mistake in cocktails, the Negroni Sbagliato with Campari, Carpano Antica and Lambrusco Rosso. All of these cocktails are $12.
Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale: Like Coltivare (above), Agricole Hospitality’s laid-back whiskey, beer and taco bar in the Heights is donating Negroni Week proceeds to No Kid Hungry. It’s creative take on the classic is the $10 Mexican Negroni made with Desert Door Sotol, Campari, Sweet Vermouth and garnished with a lime twist.
Emmaline, 3210 West Dallas: The chic dining spot has half a dozen Negroni variations on a special Negroni Week menu and will donate $1 from the sale of each to the Houston Area Women’s Center. Try The Italian Job, done with Toso Cividianna grappa, CioCiaro amaro, Campari and rhubarb, or La Vacanza, made from Rittenhosue rye, Mathilde Peche, Ramazzoti amaro, Capari and prosecco. Updated 6/7/18 3:15 p.m.
The Hay Merchant, 1100 Westheimer: For Negroni Week, the classic rendition of the cocktail is going to be on draft. A dollar for every one of these sold goes to the charity co-owners Kevin Floyd and James Beard Award-winning chef Shepherd co-founded: the Southern Smoke Foundation. (Also, $25 goes to No Kid Hungry, an official Negroni Week charity.) Last year, Southern Smoke distributed grants to hospitality professionals badly affected by Hurricane Harvey. This year, the non-profit organization returns to its normal mission of raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
Lei Low, 6412 North Main: Houston’s only tiki bar always offers a movie theme for Negroni Week. This year’s is “The Island of Doctor Negroni,” a playful riff on “The Island of Doctor Moreau.” Four Negroni-inspired cocktails will be on the menu, including the Sayer of the Law, made with rum fire, banana brandy and Becherovka, a Czech liqueur that tastes a little like cinnamon. Donations from each drink sold is going to Paws, an organization that rehabilitates wildlife and shelters feral pets.
Night Heron, 1601 West Main: Never let it be said that Agricole Hospitality isn’t all in for Negroni Week. The company’s most recently opened bar and restaurant in the former Lowbrow space is joining Coltivare and Eight Row Flint in raising funds for No Kid Hungry. On the cocktail list is Agricol White Negroni with Gin Mare, Suze, Capertif and “pizza tincture” (it’s a tincture made with oregano and fried garlic, believe it or not) for $11; Mezcal Negroni with Wahaka Espadin, Barolo Chinato, Amontillado and orange bitters for $11; Spritz with Citadelle, Campari, Kinsman Apricot, Lemon, Grapefruit, Lemongrass Syrup and topped with fizzy Topo Chico for $10 and the most classic variation on a Negroni, the Boulevardier with Old Forester Proprietary, Kinsman Apricot, Campari, Bittermen’s Citron Sauvage and Barolo Chinato for $12.
One Fifth Romance Languages, 1658 Westheimer: There’s only a little time left to enjoy the “romance language” incarnation of this restaurant before James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd and his business partners close it and debut as One Fifth Mediterranean. Negroni Week is an additional incentive to stop by before then. A dollar from each of the two qualifying cocktails sold (classic Negroni and Negroni Sbagliato) is going to the Southern Smoke Foundation. Also, $25 goes to No Kid Hungry, an official Negroni Week charity.
Ouisie’s Table, 3929 San Felipe: The River Oaks grande dame will make a traditional Negroni, available for $8. Of that, $1 will be donated to Autism Speaks, an organization that works to help improve the lives of those with the disorder. Ouisie’s donation will be matched by Campari.
Rosewood, 1606 Clear Lake City Blvd: The chic suburban bar offers a number of specials this week, with donations to the USBG National Charity Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping service professionals, and the Santa Fe Strong Memorial Fund. On Wednesday, June 6, they’ll offer a series of Negroni flights, one made with different gins, one with different vermouths and one with different appertivi. There’s also a wide selections of Negroni riffs, among them the Atomic Blonde made with Old Grand Dad 114 Bourbon, Dolin Blanc vermouth and Montenegro, the Ruby Red Spagliato with Campari, Dolin Blanc vermouth and Real Ale Grapefruit Gose, and the Midnight Society made with bourbon, cacao Campari, sweet vermouth and Cappelletti Sfmumato, a smoky, Italian, rhubarb liqueur. Updated 6/6/18 8:06 a.m.
Stone’s Throw, 1417 Westheimer: The Montrose-area bar is offering three Negronis: Speziato with Tinkerman Sweet Spice gin, Campari, Carpano Antica, basil, jalapeño and orange; Lemongroni with gin, Itallicus (an Italian aperitif), sweet vermouth and lemon; and the Oaxaconi with mezcal, Aperol, Campari, Cherry Herring and lemon. Stone Throw’s Negroni week beneficiary is Little Free Library.
UB Preserv, 1609 Westheimer: Underbelly Hospitality’s newly opened restaurant in the old Poscol space is offering both a classic Negroni and a Bottled Pineapple Negroni with dry gin, sweet vermouth, Campari and pineapple juice. Each is $10. A dollar from each is going to the Southern Smoke Foundation and $25 goes to No Kid Hungry, an official Negroni Week charity.
Weights + Measures, 2808 Caroline: Proceeds from the midtown restaurant’s Negroni Week efforts are going to Water For People. On the cocktail list is a traditional Negroni and the W+M Negroni with gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, lemon and elderflower liqueur.
Yauatcha, 5045 Westheimer: The popular Galleria spot is serving its White Negroni, made with Plymouth Gin, Lillet Blanc, and Tempus Fugit Gran Classico bitters. The restaurant will donate $1 from the sale of each to the James Beard Foundation. Updated 6/7/18 3:19 p.m.
About the author: Holly Beretto writes about food, wine, the arts and interesting people for a variety of local publications, including Downtown magazine and Houstonia. Her work has appeared in Arts + Culture Texas, Santa Clara magazine, Maui No Ka Oi, PRIME Living and the Arizona State University and St. Paul’s School alumni magazines. She is the editor of Pierce, the magazine of Franklin Pierce University and the author of Christ as the Cornerstone: Fifty Years of Worship at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, published by Bright Sky Press. Originally from Rhode Island, she lives in Houston with her husband Mark Love.