Drinks for Donations

Negroni Week, a philanthropic movement at bars around the world, kicks off on Monday.

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The exact origin of the Negroni is still a little fuzzy (much like your sensibilities after two or three of them), but the most widely accepted version of the story is that it was invented in 1919 at Café Cavalli, formerly known as Café Casoni, in Florence, Italy. So happy centennial, Negroni — let’s celebrate with a drink, shall we?

Negroni Week, celebrating the classic, simple cocktail of Campari, gin and vermouth, officially starts on Monday, June 24. Organized by Imbibe Magazine and Campari, this weeklong initiative invites bars across the globe to promote Negronis and support charitable causes. Since its 2013 inception, Negroni Week has grown to include nearly 10,000 venues and raised about $2 million for dozens of charities.

Several Richmond establishments, including Perch and Saison, have chosen to support Children of Restaurant Employees, an organization that supports families of food and beverage service employees during times of extreme financial strain and life-altering circumstances. Weezie’s Kitchen, which will offer variations with rum, mezcal and the Peruvian brandy known as pisco, plans to donate $1 per drink sold. The Jasper, known for its creative takes on classic cocktails, will feature a drink menu of about a dozen variations on the Negroni, including one on draft, in support of the group.

Aloi, supporting No Kid Hungry, will offer seven variations. At Greenleaf’s Pool Room you can look forward to a cold-brew coffee version and the increasingly popular white Negroni, a twist on the original featuring Lillet Blanc and Suze liqueur. Greenleaf’s charity of choice is Muttville, a senior dog rescue.

Other participating restaurants and bars include Secco Wine Bar, the Scott’s Addition location of Tazza Kitchen, TJ’s in the Jefferson Hotel, Laura Lee’s, Lemaire, Adarra, Alewife, Metzger Bar and Butchery, Metro Bar and Grill, Fat Dragon Chinese Kitchen and Bar, Southbound and Can Can Brasserie. And if you want to get in on the festivities without the booze, sidle on up to the bar at Heritage, where you can get a zero-proof Negroni-inspired mocktail with a vermouth tea blend from Roundtree Trading Co.

Information about Negroni Week is available here, and be sure to include the hashtag #NegroniWeek when you post those pictures on social media.

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