Negroni Week is upon us, that special time of year when strange concoctions appear on your local bar's menu, full of ingredients with unpronounceable Italian names like Cynar (it's pronounced "chee-nar," and it’s made from artichokes). It's a week where bartenders get to take an Italian classic cocktail, the Negroni, and stretch the definition of it until it's unrecognizable. But more than that, it's a fundraiser, with participating locations donating to charities of their choice for each of their "Negroni" sold. For real. Drinking for charity has never been easier.
But just what the hell is a Negroni, aside from dry gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari? Why are people excited about it enough that almost 6,000 bars worldwide are signing up for a week dedicated to it? What, exactly, is this weird, bitter, bright-red drink your bartender is so enthused about making for you?