By KELLY ERICKSON
The fifth annual Negroni Week, a charity-driven campaign highlighting the classic Italian aperitif on bar menus around the world, is now underway. The Negroni is a distinctly bitter cocktail traditionally built with gin, sweet vermouth, Campari and an orange twist, but for participating bars and restaurants and even an ice cream shop on the Eastside, it’s about exploring new ways to express booze-inspired creativity.
Wanderlust Creamery, Atwater Village
The warm weather is hitting at the perfect time for a scoop of Sicilian Negroni ice cream at the new Atwater Village Wanderlust Creamery. This is the stuff dreams are made of: ice cream infused with gin botanicals, fior di sicilia, & bergamot, swirled with a Campari- blood orange sorbet.
3134 Glendale Blvd, Atwater Village
ETA, Highland Park
The year-old Highland Park bar is a must-visit for Negroni Week. There is, of course, a classic Negroni on the menu, but if adventure is on the agenda try the Automatic Stop ($14) with Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Cynar bitter liqueur, Plantation Pineapple Rum and Campari.
5630 N Figueroa St, Highland Park
Room 31, Eagle Rock
Some great cocktails in the city are hidden away behind 5 Line Tavern in Eagle Rock. The speakeasy isn’t going too far away from the classic cocktail but has us intrigued with the Walnut Negroni: Tochi Nocello walnut liqueur, Campari, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, Four Pillars Gin and Orange oils.
2136 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock
Winsome, Victor Heights
The cocktail program at Echo Park-adjacent Winsome is exquisite (the restaurant’s Instagram feed is drool-inducing) and it’s no surprise that Negroni Week inspires a fresh twist on the cocktail. A Luci Rosse (“a red light”) is built with Campari, Mulholland Gin, Byrhh liqueur and served up with cucumber slices ($12).
1115 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, Victor Heights
Sonny’s Hideaway, Highland Park
Highland Park isn’t lacking in bars these days but Sonny’s Hideaway is known for its no-frills, laid back atmosphere alongside a high quality cocktail program. In addition to the Classic Negroni, there is the Reagan Years, featuring Russell’s Reserve Bourbon, Amaro Montenegro and Martini Gran Lusso Vermouth.
5137 York Blvd, Los Angeles, Highland Park
Taix French Restaurant, Echo Park
The Classic, The French, The Blonde and The Cheeky are all featured Negroni Week cocktails on the menu at old-school Taix (pronounced “tex”) in Echo Park. No doubt the Classic Negroni is a win, but The French is a lovely departure from gin with vodka, Campari, sweet vermouth and a lemon twist.
1911 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, Echo Park
Good Housekeeping, Highland Park
Bar-hopping in Highland Park these days will leave you buzzed and broke, but Good Housekeeping is another must-visit cocktail spot in the neighborhood. To celebrate the week, June 8th at 7pm is Negroni Hour featuring specialty cocktails and deals plus a chat with “the Campari Brand ambassador” about the history of the Negroni.
5635 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, Highland Park
Big Bar, Los Feliz
It’s patio drinking 101: Cool-you-down classic cocktails outside where the sun shines at Big Bar at The Alcove. The Classic Negroni is looking pretty good, but venture into the Yes Way Negrone with Rosé, Cocchi Americano and Campari stirred and served with a grapefruit twist.
1927 Hillhurst Ave, Los Feliz
Other participating Eastside venues that deserve an honorable mention are: The Edendale with a Classic Negroni, Bar Angeles with an intriguing Breakfast Negroni, Sawyer with vodka-based Always Bitter, and Kettle Black adding Eden ice cider into the mix.
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