Asheville has seen an explosion in its craft cocktail scene in the past few years. As our Beer City has gotten more into spirits, new bars have opened that are expressly interested in the wondrous concoctions that their mixologists can come up with. This week, the city is celebrating a classic cocktail with a fascinating history: the Negroni. All this week, bars around town will feature their own version of the Negroni.
The event was conceptualized by Imbibe Magazine and Campari in 2013, and Asheville held its first Negroni Week last year. While the biggest focus of the event is the cocktail itself, a secondary focus is charity, and each bar participating will be donating a portion of the proceeds to a charity or cause of their choice.
As a participant, you'll receive a Negroni Week Passport Card that you can have stamped at every participating bar. If you get three stamps, you're invited to a private celebration hosted by the Social Lounge and sponsored by Campari and Botanist Gin that will take place on Sunday, June 12th in the afternoon. Asheville Negroni Week 2015. Photo: Katie Hild
According to ye olde archives, the Negroni was created when the Italian Count Camillo Negroni made a special request in 1919 Florence, asking his bartender to stiffen up his usual drink, an Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda). The Count had apparently developed a fancy for strong liquor while working as a rodeo clown in the American West (seriously). The bartender complied with the request, adding gin in place of the club soda and garnishing it with orange peel rather than lemon. Check out Gary Regan's book on the subject, The Negroni: Drinking to La Dolce Vita, for more fun facts to impress your friends.
Are you ready to start sampling Negronis across town? Below is the full list of participating bars and the causes they'll be slinging drinks for. For more information on each bar and the cause or charity they're promoting, go to the official Negroni Week page.