If you like this bittersweet cocktail, you’ll love the week of June 5-11, when bars all over the area are creating their best variations on the Negroni.
More than National Margarita Day or any other designated cocktail holiday, Negroni Week (June 5-11) seems to get people interested around here. Maybe you’ve never heard of it, but you’ll see it — a sea of blushing amber-red drinks flooding the bars will signal to you Negroni Week is here.
A bittersweet aperitif, the Negroni (gin, Campari and sweet vermouth) is versatile. Swap out the gin for bourbon and you get an elegant boulevardier, one of the most popular whiskey cocktails in Seattle. Swap out gin for any spirit, really, and you’ll get a decent cocktail. It’s a tried-and-true template. Bartenders love playing around with it, especially during Negroni Week. Barrel-aged and carbonated variations are common during those seven days, and with the sun returning, expect to see this pretty drink in forms of slushies, ice cream and Popsicles. Here are some interesting takes around town.
Always a crowd pleaser, Negroni slushies will be churning at this South Lake Union seafood place, perfect for the warm weather. Even better, you can get the slushie topped off with sparkling rosé.
400 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle; 206-922-3288, barharborbar.com
Or right next to Bar Harbor, take the private elevator 14 stories up to this patio in South Lake Union. Mbar does coffee and PB&J variations. Its bourbon Negroni is made with the Spanish vermouth, Yzaguirre Rojo Reserva, for some ripe fruit and spicy notes, with a jolt of coffee tincture. The second take is made with BroVo Jammy Vermouth.
400 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle; 206-457-8287, mbarseattle.com
This Bellevue bar restaurant went the dessert route, with a carbonated Negroni cocktail topped with a scoop of Campari-vanilla ice cream, a play on the root-beer float.
99 102nd Ave. N.E., Bellevue; 425-287-6041, 99park-restaurant.com
Some form of citrus is usually added to play on the zesty note from the Campari liqueur, but this Pioneer Square bar tweaked it with cantaloupe cordial and garnished the drink with melon balls.
240 Second Ave. S., Seattle; 206-624-2337, goodbarseattle.com
A bar that boasts one of the largest collections of agave spirits takes the Negroni where you would expect — a tequila variation with a hint of French oak. Bartender Casey Robison makes some of the best tequila drinks on Capitol Hill.
1420 12th Ave., Seattle; 206-588-8105 barriorestaurant.com
As if you needed any excuse to hang out at one of the most magnificent views, this downtown rooftop bar offers six Negroni variations. The Nest feels like lounging on a lido deck, with a backdrop of islands and the snowcapped Olympics. Down a few rum Negronis, and you might feel like you’re bound for some tropical paradise.
110 Stewart St., Seattle; 206-623-4600, thompsonhotels.com/hotels/seattle/thompson-seattle/restaurant-bars/the-nest