Just in time to (hopefully) help banish the June gloom weather, Negroni Week kicks off Monday, June 5 to celebrate a week's worth of the simple, summery combination of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth—perfect for sipping outside.
While bars across the Bay Area are shaking and stirring this classic cocktail (see the full list at negroniweek.com), we found some of the craziest tweaks on the libation, ranging from slushies to smoke-infused drinks to Campari-coated popcorn. Even better? For each Negroni Week cocktail you order, $1 is donated to a charity of the bar's choosing. So raise a glass, and get to drinking (and eating).
For a chocolatey riff on the classic, The Alembic's Under the Radar Negroni highlights Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro infused with cocoa nibs mixed with Gran Classico and Avion Reposado. Feeling dark? Order a Black Monday Murders Negroni, with overproof rum, Aperol, and Carpano Antica. To celebrate its three-drink Negroni menu, The Alembic is hosting Una Noche en las Nubes ("A Night in the Clouds") on June 6 in collaboration with Lo-Fi Aperitifs and Tequila Avion. Sample the three craft cocktails prepared by guest bartenders, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit No Kid Hungry. // 1725 Haight St. (Haight), alembicsf.com.
The popular South Indian restaurant gives the Italian classic a spicy spin for its Bicycle Thief cocktail. Named after the Italian film, the drink combines Campari and Aperol with Averell Damson plum gin and Ancho Reyes Chile liqueur, finished with Italian Chinotto soda and garnished with a Chinotto popsicle. The restaurant's Negroni twist benefits No Kid Hungry. // 995 Valencia St. (Mission); 1700 Fillmore St. (Lower Pac Heights/Japantown), dosasf.com
Flower power is strong at Finn Town with Norton's Negroni, named after the self-proclaimed Emperor Norton. Bar manager Gillian Fitzgerald's tweak on the classic is made with poppy liquor, Cynar, and cherry juice, served in a bodega glass with a poppy. // 2251 Market St. (Castro), finntownsf.com
Foreign Cinema and Laszlo Bar
If you can't resist a boozy slushie, head to Foreign Cinema and its connected full-service bar for the Fro-Goni. A combination of Nolet's silver gin, Cocchi Americano, and fresh grapefruit juice, the Campari-rimmed slushie is perfect for the patio. // 2534 Mission St. (Mission), foreigncinema.com, 2526 Mission St. (Mission), laszlobar.com
As a nod to the famous surfing competition, Maven's Mavericks drink highlights Cocchi "Dopo Teatro," Arkansas Black straight applejack, Denizen Merchant, and Campari. Keeping with the theme, $1 per cocktail will be donated to the Surfrider Foundation. // 598 Haight St. (Lower Haight), maven-sf.com
The new(ish) Mexican restaurant is featuring six inventive riffs on the Negroni, ranging from a mescal-gin version to a pilsner- and Oaxacan sea salt–topped cocktail. Our favorites of the bunch? The smoked Negroni—which features San Luis del Rio mescal, alpine liqueur, Campari, Carpano Antica, and smoked salt with an applewood smoky decanter—and the Negroni Ansestral, a combination of del Maguey Pechuga, Campari, Gran Classico, Oaxacan chocolate bitters, and a cinnamon-pacilla de Oaxaca air-and-alajebrije "whisper." // 2323 Polk St (Russian Hill), mezcalitosf.com
The SoMa bar is partnering with Tanqueray and Campari for a few tea-infused events and cocktails. All week long, Novela will serve three tea-infused Negroni variations alongside a paired bite. Try a ginseng and oolong-infused Negroni with Cinzano 1757-marinated olives, silver needle tea–gin served in a teacup with a madeline cookie and Aperol marmalade, and a punch bowl–sized Negroni with tea- and cocoa-dusted popcorn. Swing by on Tuesday, June 6, for happy hour, or on Wednesday, June 7, for a Mad Hatter Tea Party. A portion of the proceeds will go to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. // 662 Mission St. (SoMa), novelasf.com
One Market Restaurant
For a south-of-the-border variation, One Market will complement a classic Negroni with the Siete Leguas Reposado Agavoni, which includes Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila, Campari, and Punt e Mes. // 1 Market St. (FiDi), onemarket.com
Lead bartender Lisa Sanchez crafted three special cocktails for the week, including the Negroni Romantico (topped with grapefruit beer), Prosecco-topped Negroni Spritz, and the aquavit- and limoncello-forward Negroni Internazionale, all benefitting Muttville. But the most off-beat offering is Perbacco's Negroni Caramel Corn. The popped kernels are coated with a caramel made with Campari and sweet vermouth, and dusted with a salt made with gin botanicals such as juniper, coriander seed, cardamom, and licorice root. // 230 California St. (FiDi), perbaccosf.com
While it's hard to compete with booze, The Saratoga's dessert option may have the sip-able version beat. Donuts are glazed with a barrel-aged Negroni, then sprinkled with foie. Proceeds benefit the SF-Marin Food Bank. // 1000 Larkin St. (Lower Nob Hill), thesaratogasf.com
Home of the Tony Negroni (a classic featuring Bombay Sapphire), the Sausalito Italian restaurant features a menu of six subtle variations of the cocktail, showcasing different spirits, vermouths, and mixers. But it does shake things up with a vanilla bean panna cotta topped with blood orange, kumquat, and a Negroni simple syrup. // 777 Bridgeway (Sausalito), poggiotrattoria.com
Although typically not known for its booze, Tartine Manufactory is still getting in on the Negroni Week action with a sweet take: a Negroni ice cream sundae. The deconstructed dessert will include orange blossom ice cream, strawberry, Campari pate de fruit, and juniper meringue. // 595 Alabama St. (Mission), tartinemanufactory.com