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MNfusion: Minnesota Bars Take Part In Negroni Week

Bored of the same old, tired gin and tonic? Finding that your gimlet needs a different twist?

Why not try a negroni?

(credit: Red Cow) (credit: Red Cow)

Negronis are a mix of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, all topped off with an orange peel.

And what better week to try this Italian concoction then during Negroni Week!

From June 1 through 7 five Minnesota businesses will celebrate negroni week by offering up their versions of the cocktail.

But there's more!

While Negroni Week was started to celebrate the cocktail, the creators also decided to use it as a way to raise money for charitable causes around the world.

Each bar that participates donates a portion of their proceeds gained from the cocktail to a chosen charity.

So, for this week while you indulge you can also give back.

Minneapolis' Red Cow is among the five Minnesota institutions participating.

"It just seemed like a great fit for us," owner Luke Shimp said. "[It's] just a great charity. No Kid Hungry supports children who are out of school and in need of food and us being a food establishment seemed like a no brainer."

For every negroni purchased at their Cathedral Hill or North Loop location, $1 will be donated to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign.  No Kid Hungry works to help local schools provide meals during the summer to students who may not get enough to eat at home. Share Our Strength also works teach families how to cook healthy and affordable meals.

But, as with all things Red Cow, their negroni has a twist.

Cocktail specialist Ian Lowther wanted to take a non-traditional route in creating Red Cow's version for this week. So he varied a bit from the 1-to-1-to-1 dimensions and added in a few extra flavors.

"We put it in a keg. And then we are also charging it, so it's got a little bit of effervescence, or carbonation, to it," Shimp said. "We're making it with Far North Spirits gin, so we're using a local gin. And then Campari and a sweet vermouth."

To top it off, instead of garnishing the drink with the traditional orange peel, Red Cow uses a grapefruit peel and zest.

Red Cow's St. Paul location does not have the negroni on tap. Instead they are bottling it.

For negroni lovers it still maintains the bitter flavor but the charged soda makes the drink smoother and the grapefruit adds a nice crispness to it. It's effervescent and a light; a perfect summer cocktail,

Negroni Week was started in 2013, with roughly 100 bars participating. In 2014, the number of participating bars grew from 100 to 1,300 bars. More than $120,000 was raised for charities world-wide.

Negroni Week takes place from June 1 through 7. Red Cow's Cathedral Hill and North Loop locations will be participating. The 50th Street location does not have spirits. A complete list of all Minnesota bars participating can be found on Negroni Week's website. Learn more about how to make a negroni on this week's Mike's Mix.


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