For 364 days a year, the cocktail menu at chef Cathy Whims' Nostrana quietly celebrates the Negroni, that "quintessential Italian cocktail" featuring gin, vermouth rosso, bitters, and a delicately curled orange peel. But on day (actually night) 365, the restaurant loudly raises its glass to the Negroni with a costumed, invitation-only, uber-boozy bash dubbed the Negroni Social, a debaucherous toast to the cocktail.
This year's third-annual celebration, scheduled for Monday, June 3, adopts a "Magic" theme, with 13 bartenders around town — including Nostrana's own Douglas Derrick — conjuring up their variation of the Negroni. And the costumed revelry does serve a higher purpose than creating future hangovers: The event will benefit Outside In, a local social service agency that works with homeless youth.
The party's invitation-only, but Eater has the cocktail-party equivalent of the Golden Ticket, aka five pairs of tickets to give away to lucky readers. For your chance to win, simply e-mail the contest hotline with "Nostrana Negroni Social" in the subject hed. The contest remains open until noon Friday, when we'll randomly select and notify five winners.
But even non-ticket-winners can get in on the action. For the first time, Nostrana has teamed with Imbibe Magazine to throw a city-wide toast to the Negroni, currently underway (through June 3) at bars around Portland. Bars from Irving Street Kitchen to Kask to Raven & Rose will offer their own house versions of the Negroni, pledging $1 from each cocktail to Outside In's programming. The complete list of Negroni Week bars is available here.
· Nostrana [Official site]
· Negroni Week [Official site]
Image of Nostrana courtesy Avila/EPDX