The classic Negroni is hard to go past. Sweet with a bitter edge, strong but wholly drinkable; the mix of gin, Campari and sweet red vermouth is a menu staple for any good bar.

It’s said that the Negroni is the legacy of Florentine playboy Count Camillo Negroni and his obliging bartender friend Fosco Scarselli of Caffè Casoni. According to legend, in 1919, the count asked the bartender to swap the soda in his Americano for gin. Scarselli obliged, added orange peel, and the Negroni was born.

In 2013, Imbibe magazine launched Negroni Week. Now in its third year, the initiative has raised more than $120,000 for charity. This year it’s come to Australia. From June 1–7, participating venues will donate $1 from every Negroni sold to a charity of their choice. At the end of the week, Campari will also donate $5000 to the most successful venue’s charity.

Sydney punters keen to start their search for the perfect Negroni should head straight to CBD rooftop venue The Rook, where the house version is so popular it’s offered on tap.

A gin spiced with ginger and blood orange made especially for the bar by Four Pillars is the cocktail’s secret ingredient. “It’s a gin that has been specially designed to make the perfect Negroni,” bar manager Nell Campbell says.

The Rook will donate one dollar for every Negroni sold during the week to NRN Australia, helping to provide emergency relief to victims of the earthquake in Nepal. “We’re part of the Keystone Group, and a lot of our venues have Nepalese employees,” says Campbell.

Another bar raising funds for Nepal is Riley St Garage in Woolloomooloo. It will hand over $2 from every Negroni sold to Habitat for Humanity.

As well as the classic Negroni, a white version will feature on the Riley St Garage cocktail list. The limited edition creation is a Gallic take on the traditional Italian Negroni, made with gin, a type of French bitters known as Suze, and Lillet, an aperitif wine from the Bordeaux region.

It was a firsthand account from a friend working in Nepal that helped Parlour Group marketing executive Rebecca Neall decide which good cause to support during Negroni Week. “This charity is putting all proceeds directly into Nepal and it needs a great deal of help,” she says.

York Lane is supporting the Day of Difference Foundation, a charity started by the family of Sophie Delezio to fund research into children’s injuries, and support families affected. Bartender Ben McKenna will be mixing up the Sir York for the occasion, a twist on the classic wherein orange oil is lit for a subtle burnt-orange flavour.

In support of Oxfam, The Italian Bar is mixing the classic Negroni, plus two with very Italian twists. The first is the Antica Formula, which is made with the herbal Carpano vermouth and dates back to 1786. The second is Sbagliato, Italian for mistaken, with Valdobbiadene Valley prosecco used instead of the gin.

Rounding off the list is Barrio Chino who is supporting the Pink Boots Society, which seeks to empower women in beer making. Your Negroni pilgrimage starts June 1. Drink responsibly and don’t forget to take a taxi.

Barrio Chino
28–30 Bayswater Road
Potts Point
Supporting the Australian Childhood Foundation

Cafe Lounge
277 Goulburn Street
Surry Hills
Supporting UNICEF

Dove & Olive
156 Devonshire Street
Surry Hills
Supporting the Pink Boots Society

Earl’s Juke Joint
407 King Street
Newtown
Supporting Wine to Water

Keg and Brew
26 Foveaux Street
Surry Hills
Supporting the Pink Boots Society

Mad Pizza e Bar
15 Obrien Street
Bondi Beach

312 Victoria Street
Darlinghurst

234 Crown Street
Surry Hill

17 Randle Street
Surry Hills

135 King Street
Newtown
Supporting the Sydney Children’s Hospital

Opera Bar
Lower Concourse
Sydney
Supporting Canteen

Paddington Inn
338 Oxford Street
Paddington
Supporting Movember

Palmer & Co
Abercrombie Lane
Sydney
Supporting Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s LALTHAM Fund

Parson Bar & Kitchen
3 Kellett Street
Potts Point
Supporting the Wayside Chapel

Pizza Autentico
15 Brisbane Street
Surry Hills
Supporting Australian Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Appeal

Riley St Garage
55 Riley Street
Woolloomooloo
Supporting Habitat for Humanity

Surlys
182 Campbell Street
Surry Hills
Supporting Sea Shepherd

Tatler Sydney
169 Darlinghurst Road
Sydney
Supporting the Wayside Chapel

The Angry Pirate
125 Redfern Street
Sydney
Supporting the Redfern Foundation

The Clock Hotel
470 Crown Street
Surry Hills
Supporting Defence Care

The Corner House
281 Bondi Road
Bondi
Supporting Breast Cancer

The Erskineville Hotel
102 Erskineville Road
Sydney
Supporting the RSPCA

The Goodwill Society
169–173 Darlinghurst Road
Sydney
Supporting the Starlight Foundation

The Italian Bar
438 Oxford Street
Paddington
Supporting Oxfam Australia

The Print Room
11 Glenmore Road
Paddington
Supporting the Pink Ribbon Foundation

The Rook
Level 7, 56–58 York Street
Sydney
Supporting NRN Australia

Vasco
421 Cleveland Street
Sydney
Supporting UNICEF

York Lane
York Lane (between York and Clarence Streets. Enter via Erskine Street)
Sydney
Supporting Day of Difference Foundation

Zeta
488 George Street
Sydney
Supporting St Vincent de Paul

This article is presented by Negroni Week.

Visit negroniweek.com for more information and a full list of participating venues.