Cheers: Raise a Negroni for good causes
Cooler than a cosmopolitan and just as classic as an old fashioned, the Negroni cocktail has recently come back into vogue.
Made with equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and the aperitif Campari, this complex red beverage has been a craft cocktail staple since back when they were just called "cocktails." When made correctly, the taste has a perfect balance of sweet, bitter and herbal.
According to the book "The Negroni" by spirit expert Gary Regan, it was likely named after and created by Italian count Camillo Negroni when he attempted to put a heavier spin on the Americano cocktail (Campari, sweet vermouth and club soda).
Starting Monday, bars around the world will celebrate Negroni Week. No doubt a clever marketing ploy by the 155-year-old Italian liqueur brand Campari, the promotion is for a good cause. Partial proceeds from sales of Negronis at participating venues will benefit a charity of the bar's choice, through June 7.
Sip a Negroni, which is often garnished with an orange peel, at Gold Cash Gold in Corktown, and you'll be helping out the Detroit Riverfront Conservatory. The same charity will benefit if you imbibe at the Oakland Art Novelty Co. in Ferndale, the Toasted Oak Grill & Market in Novi and Seva Restaurant in Ann Arbor. Aventura and Tammy's Tastings, both in Ann Arbor, will donate some of their Negroni sales to writing and education nonprofit 826Michigan.
Negroni Week, invented by Imbibe Magazine and Campari, kicked off in 2013 and has since raised more than $120,000 for charity. This year it appears more than 2,200 bars around the globe are participating, up from about 1,300 last year.
■The giving spirit is in effect, too, at Ann Arbor's upscale dive 327 Braun Court. Though not a participant in Negroni Week this year, 327 Braun Court donates $1 from everything sold on the third Tuesday of each month to a charity. The ongoing event kicked off last week with a fundraiser for Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan. On June 16 the beneficiary is emergency youth shelter Ozone House. Braun Court also hosts pop-up chefs on Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays.
■Warren's Falling Down Beer Company will open a second location in the Village of Oxford. The new spot, at 14 N. Washington, will be able to produce 2,000 barrels per year, four times the brewing capacity of the Warren location. The 60-seat tap room will have 30 taps and eventually house-made wine and spirits. Opening date is scheduled for late 2015.
■The Blackfinn Ameripub location at the Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township will open June 4. The 8,000-square-foot restaurant has a full bar, screened-in porch and outdoor patio.
Food & beverage events
Yalla Eat! Walking Tours in Eastern Market: Culinary walking tours explore Arab American history in Eastern Market. Tours run about 21/2 hours. 10 a.m. Sat., 1 p.m. Tues., 10 a.m. June 6 and 13 and 1 p.m. June 9. $20, $15 Arab American National Museum members. Tours start at Germack Coffee Roasting Company, 2517 Russell, Detroit. arabamericanmuseum.org/yallaeat.
Taste of Ann Arbor: More than 40 restaurants will offer samples of their best food for 50 cents up to $4. The family-friendly event will also have live music. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Main between William and Washington, Ann Arbor. mainstreetannarbor.org.
Garden Terrace Tasting at Rattlesnake Club: The summer-long wine tasting series kicks off June 11 with sparking wines. Tickets include eight wines paired with small plates. 6 p.m. June 11. $45, plus tax and tip. 300 River Place, Detroit. (313) 567-4400