I drink for as many reasons as I eat, but conducting double duty and supporting a worthy cause while I clink my glass makes it that much better. A favorite of Little Sparrow's Eric Samaniego, he sums it up as, " . . .a classic cocktail with very few ingredients. The bartender can't hide behind it; they either make a good one, or they don't." Made with care using Campari, gin and sweet vermouth (plus orange peel garnish), this aperitif demonstrates restraint while still making a statement.
Between now and June 8, bars around the world are participating in Negroni Week. For every one you order, $1 will go towards the charity of their choice. In Orange County, that choice is Inspire Artistic Minds (IAM). IAM provides scholarships and education to advance the arts, with a strong focus in the food and beverage industry. They are also responsible for Nepenthia Beer Garden and PigOut events.
A list of participating restaurants that have chosen Inspire Artistic Minds as its benefactor can be found on their website. Our favorites include Anepalco's Cafe, Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's, Ways & Means Oysters and The Deck on Laguna Beach (a part of Sentinel Restaurant and Hospitality Group and linked to this week's On the Line subject, Rainer Schwarz). More information on Negroni Week is located at www.negroniweek.com.
Summary: Drink a Negroni. Support a charity. Repeat as needed.