Negroni Week kicks off in Columbus

Anthony Dominic, Crave

This week, you can enjoy a classic bitter cocktail and support a local charity in one fell swoop. Today, Negroni Week kicks off worldwide and, most importantly, in Columbus, running through June 8. Nearly 20 participating area bars will be serving classic and riffed negronis, with a portion of every sale going toward charity.

In order to maximize the impact of the donations, Curio bar manager Rebecca Monday-who organized the week-long event as a member of the local chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild-made a point to rally as many possible bars around the Jack Roth Fund, which supports lung cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Roth's daughter, Maren Roth, who owns Rowe Boutique in the Short North, started the Jack Roth 5K Rock & Run/Walk after her father, an avid runner, passed from cancer in 2004.

For updates and a full list of participating bars and respective charities, visit the Columbus Negroni Week 2014 Facebook page. And while nobody's stopping you from ordering a classic negroni this week (equal parts Campari, gin and sweet vermouth), why not take advantage of the creativity of Columbus bartenders? Here are three riffs worth checking out by Sunday:

-The syrupy-sweet Beet Negroni at Curio, made with beet-infused sweet vermouth

-The Dirty Negroni at Till Dynamic Fare. Bar manager Branden Yearsley mixes and chills olives with the spirits (also known as fat washing) before straining the residue.

-The Barrel-Aged Negroni at Veritas Tavern, made with Fernet-Branca and dried-cherry-emulsified Beefeater gin.