Special Events

Houston's Best Negroni Week Food And Drink

You by Friday: "Help me, Obi Wan Negroni, you're my only hope."
You by Friday: "Help me, Obi Wan Negroni, you're my only hope." Photo courtesy of Nobie's

The Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail that includes equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari, shaken and served up (usually) with a twist of orange. The Negroni now has its own special week, Negroni Week, essentially a fundraising event that was launched in 2013 by Imbibe Magazine and Campari, and now includes thousands of participating bars across the country, all of which come together to donate money to charity— $400k was raised during last year's event alone.

 It's a pretty feel good event, especially for lovers of this classic drink, and this year over 115 Houston venues are participating in Negroni Week, including big names such as Kiran's, Cane Rosso, Le Colonial, Julep and Reserve 101.

If you're going out to drink between now and June 11, the following bar and restaurant specials are worth a try for the do-gooder karma alone.

Beaver's, 2310 Decatur, 6025
click to enlarge The Bow Tie, a snazzy affair at Beaver's - PHTOO COURTESY OF BEAVER'S
The Bow Tie, a snazzy affair at Beaver's
Phtoo courtesy of Beaver's

All Negroni cocktails are $6 with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The Washington Avenue Arts District.

Three Negroni variations will also be on hand, including:

The Caged bird, a clarified lime cordial with citric acid, pineapple, Appleton rum, and Campari, served up.

The Bow Tie, made with a vanilla and cinnamon infused Campari. Bull Dog gin, strawberry and Cocchi Torino— this one sounds like quite the lovely sipper.

And last but not least (and hopefully not what you'll feel like after taking a sip),  A Surly Bastard, made with a hops tincture, ginger beer, Espolon tequila, lime, Campari, and five spice turbo salt.

Brasserie du Parc, 1440 Lamar and Etoile Cuisine et Bar,1101-11 Uptown Park

Beverage Director of Etoile and Brasserie du Parc, Kimberly Paul,  has concocted eight, yes eight,  Negroni variations — including one that's non-alcoholic — all inspired by musicians, poetry and the creative ilk.

Try the beachy quaff Down by the Seaside featuring Mahon gin, Campari, Maurin Kina, La Quintyne extra dry, pink peppercorns, and rosewater. Or the Negroni by Any Other Name, featuring Wild Turkey “Forgiven”, Campari, and Dubonnet— whew, that one will put some hair on your chest.

For a taste of the non-alcoholic Negroni, you'll want to order the appropriately-named Teetotaler ($6).

Brasserie and Etoile will donate $1 from each Negroni beverage ordered to Autism Speaks.

click to enlarge The W+M Negroni Week special. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WEIGHTS + MEASURE'S
The W+M Negroni Week special.
Photo courtesy of Weights + Measure's
Weights + Measures

This Midtown favorite offers up a Negroni with Campari gin, sweet vermouth, lemon and elderflower liquor.

A portion of the proceeds from each cocktail will benefit Muttville Senior Dog Recue.  Muttville’s mission is to change the way the world thinks about and treats older dogs and to create better lives for them through rescue, foster, adoption and hospice.

click to enlarge Negroni jello shots. Yes, please. - PHOTO COURTESY OF NOBIE'S
Negroni jello shots. Yes, please.
Photo courtesy of Nobie's
Nobie's, 2048 Colquitt

Chef Martin Stayer will have negroni-inspired dishes on hand all week including negroni-cured scallops with grapefruit and Campari gel, watermelon negroni salad and negroni custard pie.
click to enlarge Negroni pie, anyone? - PHOTO COURTESY OF NOBIE'S
Negroni pie, anyone?
Photo courtesy of Nobie's

Bar Manager Sarah Troxell will offer three Negroni variations priced at $12 each, including the Obi Won Negroni with Vida Mezcal, house made pineapple shrub, Campari and Amargo Angostura Bitters; Stop and Smell the Rosé made with Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Campari and sparkling rosé; and the Classic Negroni with Big Gin, Campari and Cocchi Torino. Negroni Jell-O Shots will also be available for $3.

Nobie’s will donate approximately $2 from each Negroni item sold to No Kid Hungry - Big Gin will match all donations made by the restaurant.

Don't see a great bar or restaurant that's participating in Negroni Week? Leave a comment and we'll update.

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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.