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L.A.’s best Negroni Week 2019 cocktail specials—and the charities they benefit

The Mermaid Negroni Week specials Los Angeles Little Tokyo
Photograph: Courtesy the Mermaid

For fans of the negroni, it’s Christmas in June. Negroni Week, a celebration of this vibrant Italian cocktail, arrives but once a year and it finally kicks off today: In lieu of presents under a tree, find negroni specials and variants all over town June 24 to 30 thanks to beverage-centric Imbibe magazine and Italian apéritif company Campari teaming up for the worldwide event. The best part? The participating restaurants and bars all donate a portion of their negroni sales to raise money for various charities.

With 108 LA.-area bars and restaurants participating in the fundraising this year, you’ve got a bevy of beverages to choose from. Some restaurants and bars are sticking with the classic Campari-vermouth-gin recipe, while others are offering multiple variations on the drink and adding mezcal, chartreuse and whatever else they can stir up—which means you’ve got some sipping to do. To help you plan your attack, we’ve created a guide to some of our favorite specials to be found this week, including but not limited to house-made negroni mochi for a sweet finish. Here’s where to drink for a cause this week.

Accomplice

Mar Vista’s Bar Awards-winning cocktails are some of the best in the city, but this Negroni Week, the team is going above and beyond and giving us a little sugar, too: In a nod to its sister restaurant, Little Fatty, each of Accomplice’s three negroni specials come served with a piece of house-made negroni mochi to mirror the Taiwanese street-food–inspired eats next door. The Red Eye Randy blends rye, coffee liqueur, Campari and amber vermouth, while the Armed Strawberry involves house-infused strawberry gin, white vermouth, Aperol and saline solution. Last but not least, catch Mermaid Vibes with its mix of gin, dry vermouth, coconut rum, bitters and saline. Accomplice’s charity of choice? Water for People, an organization providing access to safe water and sanitation in India, Uganda, Honduras, Peru, Guatemala, Rwanda and beyond.

Atrium

One of Los Feliz's go-to neighborhood joints is giving the week a fruity—and local—edge with a special that suits the season. Beverage Director Jordan Young is adding Ventura Spirits Co. strawberry brandy to his Negroni Week cocktail, not to mention amontillado sherry, dry vermouth and aquavit. Titled the Livin' Loose, it's a limited-run drink that'll set you back $12 and benefits Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian organization that tackles issues such as disaster preparedness, world hunger, poverty, education, food insecurity and more. 

Photograph: Courtesy Cecconi’s

Cecconi’s

Leave it to an Italian restaurant and bar to really do a negroni right. The lush patio at Cecconi’s is already an ideal spot to sip that classic Campari cocktail, and this week you’ve got even more cause to head there: In addition to its classic negroni, Cecconi’s will offer two variants for the fundraiser. You can find a Negroni Sour, made with gin, Aperol, white vermouth, Meyer lemon and honey, plus a Mezcagroni with a smoky blend of mezcal, Suze, cherry-blossom–infused vermouth and Italian bitters. Each cocktail runs $16, and a portion of the proceeds benefit the James Beard Foundation, which nurtures the next generation of chefs with industry training, culinary-school scholarships and more.

Ever Bar

Grab some butterfly clips and gel pens before heading to Hollywood, because Ever Bar’s specials are taking us back to the ’90s. The bar within the Everly Hotel always loves a theme, so it’s no surprise that its Negroni Week offering is one of the most immersive and totally insane: Catch a special menu of 10 negronis, each inspired by a song off that zeitgeist of a compilation series Now That’s What I Call Music and benefiting No Kid Hungry.

Help fight childhood hunger with the Hanson-inspired “MMMBop” drink, made with rye, Suze, Green Bar’s hops amaro, Cocchi Americano, yellow chartreuse and an IPA float; a cocktail devoted to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” made with Grey Whale Gin, Dolin Blanc, Luxardo bitters, spirulina, saline and watermelon; and a very Spice Girls “Say You’ll Be There” ode with Bulldog Gin, rhubarb ginger, bitters, five spice, ginger bitters and more spice. What’s more, you can catch this menu extending beyond Negroni Week all the way to July 24. To celebrate, stop by tonight to kick it off with a ’90s themed party complete with Polaroids, ’90s hits, a dance floor and a negroni fountain, all starting at 8pm.

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Inko Nito

If you think Campari and yakitori don't mix, think again. Arts District izakaya Inko Nito is celebrating Negroni Week with $1 donations from negronis all week long, plus a special aperitivo hour on Saturday, June 29. Head there from 3 to 6pm for the patio party, where you can expect a negroni fountain—dreams do come true—plus Japanese small plates such as prawn skewers with garlic and lemon sansho, and chirashi maki with salmon, yellowtail, chili and scallions. Proceeds benefit Outside In, an organization dedicated to preventing homelessness for Portland's LGBTQ community and beyond.

The Manufactory

Tartine is world-renowned for its baked goods, so it’s only fair that its Manufactory complex in ROW DTLA offer something a little pastry-leaning for the occasion. At both of the Manufactory’s full-service restaurants—Tartine Bianco and Alameda Supper Club—you can snag a special negroni that’s been clarified using one of Tartine’s beloved morning buns. (Think: all the bitterness and depth of a negroni, but with cinnamon, sugar and hints of buttery pastry.) But wait, there’s more: A slice of the sale of each negroni special will benefit No Kid Hungry, that aforementioned national initiative that fights child hunger.

The Mermaid

Little Tokyo’s nautical-themed, women-owned and -operated cocktail bar is stirring up something special this year: After all, why try one negroni when you could try three? All next week, catch a $15 flight that includes the citrusy Star-Oni, made with gin, kumquat shrub and a pickled kumquat; the Mezcal-Oni, with mezcal, orange and sal de gusano (worm salt); and the Spirit-Oni, made with gin and a five-spice syrup. Proceeds benefit the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, which advocates for fairness, mental-health awareness and protection for restaurant and bar professionals.

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Mister O’s

The ’60s-themed living room at Mister O’s is precisely where we’d like to curl up with a cocktail and a good book, which makes its charity of choice all the more appealing. This week, Studio City’s midcentury-modern–inspired charmer will offer three negronis: one featuring Four Roses bourbon, Dolin Rouge vermouth and Campari; one featuring New Amsterdam gin, Dolin Rouge and Campari; and one featuring Sipsmith spin, the herbaceous Génépy le Chamois liqueur and Dolin Blanc vermouth—and they all benefit Little Free Library, an organization that builds “take a book, share a book” hubs that make reading accessible to all. 

The NoMad

One of our favorite bars in the city is loving that Negroni Week falls during Pride Month, and offering not one but three negronis that help benefit the Trevor Project. That means that when you order a Love is Love, with coconut bourbon, Campari, sweet vermouth, Punt e Mes and salt; the Rainbow Road, with pisco, lemon, créme de pêche, Strega, honey, basil and Peychauds bitters; or the rooftop-only Sno-groni, made with rye, Campari, Foro Amaro, St. Germain, white vermouth and strawberry, you’ll be helping to support the Trevor Project’s 24-hour suicide-prevention hotline and other initiatives to help the LGBTQ community.

Salazar

Sip for a great cause on one of the city’s best patios with Salazar’s specials. Both of the restaurant’s negronis benefit Muttville, a senior-dog rescue that helps elderly pooches find homes—fitting, as Salazar’s patio is a top dog-friendly destination. Help these sweet pups while sipping the Spaghetti Western, made with Spanish brandy, Mexican black-corn whiskey, Carpano Antica and Campari with an Italian-herb garnish, or the Sotol Negroni with tequila-leaning sotol, Carpano Antica, Campari and blood orange. Then, we don’t know, maybe adopt a senior dog for yourself and live out your lives sipping cocktails at Salazar forever? Sounds like a perfect plan to us.

Negroni Week 2019 runs June 24–30; find a full list of participating venues here.

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