Negroni Week, an international event running from June 5 to June 11, allows bar patrons the opportunity to support charities while tasting local bartenders’ takes on the classic cocktail.
“For every cocktail they sell, they’re donating 25 cents to a dollar that goes directly to the foundations and different charities,” said Thomas Sparks of Glazer’s Beer and Beverage.
A classic Negroni consists of gin, vermouth and Campari topped with an orange peel. The drink is known for a distinct, bitter flavor, Sparks said.
This year, 14 Rio Grande Valley establishments will participate with the bulk of support going to Trigger’s Toys, an organization supporting sick children, and the Helen David Relief Fund, which helps women in the service industry diagnosed with breast cancer.
Other causes promoted locally include Water for People, Muttville and PAWS.
Sparks said Valley drinkers prefer “fruit-forward” beverages, and he encouraged participating bars to adapt.
Fred Garza, bar manager at Flying Walrus, switched out the traditional gin for vodka in a Negroni-inspired shot he calls a “Mangroni.”
Customers downtown rarely ask for classic cocktails, like Negronis, he said.
The Valley is “a big Scotch area,” he said, and his bar is adding to their typical “Bourbon and cokes and beers.”
“These particular cocktails are something to introduce them to that particular spirit,” Garza said.
Bodega Tavern and Kitchen bar manager Jorge Castaneda said variations of Negronis are on their menu year round.
Their selection changes seasonally, and recently added “spring flavors, more floral and fruit,” he said.
For more information on the participating venues and charities, visit negroniweek.com.
4315 S. McColl Road
1611 E. Canton Road
Craft House Table & Bar
5401 N. 10th St.
4612 N. 10th St.
100 E. Nolana Ave.
400 W. Nolana Ave.
Bodega Tavern and Kitchen
2901 N. 10th St.
701 N. Main St.
Salt – New American Table
210 N. Main St.
Brickhouse Brew Pub
10 S. 11th St.
The Flying Walrus
204 S. 17th St.
Paradise Roadhouse Bar & Grill
3700 E. Expressway 83
Mustang Lounge Night Club
3610 E. Expressway 83
115 E. Harrison Ave.