USBG + Negroni Week
Negroni Week would not reach as many people without the incredible efforts of our friends at the USBG. Regional USBG leaders help us to spread the word, getting bars across the U.S. excited to support local charities. We spoke with one of the guild’s rising stars, Columbus Ohio’s Negroni Week Captain Rebecca Monday, about her work on Negroni Week 2015, and where she’ll be taking part in this year’s festivities.
Imbibe: How did you get started bartending? How long have you been a member of the USBG?
Rebecca Monday: I’ve been in the industry for 10 years now. What started as a way to support myself through college happily evolved into something much more rewarding. Within the past three years my outlook shifted in regards to the profession, and I’ve worked diligently to hone my craft. I love the hospitality industry and plan for it to be my career. Currently, I’m a part of the management team and tend bar at Curio, in Columbus, Ohio. If you haven’t visited Columbus, please do! Its a vibrant city with humble people and much to offer in regards to food and drink. About two years ago, I became a member of USBG. Since then I’ve become more involved with the guild, at first as social media director and now as the director of Fun, for a cause, responsible for all charity events. I want to help put Columbus on the map, and through being a part of USBG I’ve been able to further my education and training, and help expand our community of bartenders.
Imbibe: Tell us about your work for Negroni Week?
RM: For two years now I’ve been the Columbus USBG Negroni Week Captain. My role for Negroni Week in Columbus has been to spread awareness about the event, by creating and running social media, contacting bar managers and sharing information about the week, helping establishments sign up, throwing a large Negroni Week launch party, working closely with the Ohio Brand Manager for Campari and making all the Negroni’s behind the stick at Curio with my Negroni crazed staff.
Imbibe: What will you be pouring during Negroni Week? And what charity will you be supporting?
RM: My mentor and Curio owner Travis Owens has prepared a special Negroni Week menu including a barrel-aged rum Negroni, a mezcal Negroni, a white Negroni, and the classic of course. Curio, as well as many other Columbus establishments that staff Columbus USBG members collectively decided to donated to the same charity as 2014, the Jack Roth Fund. Proceeds benefit the vital research and treatment necessary to combat lung cancer, through the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at The Ohio State University, and to support Camp Netaim, a program in Israel for children with special needs.
Imbibe: Where will you be sipping during Negroni Week?
RM: Kicking off Negroni week I will be sipping many Negroni variations at the Columbus USBG launch party. We are throwing a “barrel-off” between selected bars. Each bar is to bring a barrel as a vessel with their own fun variation of the classic Negroni. The rest of the week I plan to grab a Columbus Negroni Week Passport that I helped create and stamp off every location that is participating. In doing so, I will be drinking at many establishments, 50 in fact. But a couple locations that you will find me at on repeat this week will be Curio (behind the stick and imbibing), Mouton (rumor has it they will be serving Negroni jello shots), and Little Rock, my local neighborhood bar.
Imbibe: Do you remember your first Negroni? Was it love at first sip?
RM: As a matter of fact, yes! About three years ago, I overheard my co-worker talking about the classic cocktail and to his disbelief I had never heard or tried one being new to the cocktail scene. I remember him sharing the history, the recipe of how to make one, and my first sip … I was sold! Since, I have had many Negronis, which now stands at the top ranking of my favorite cocktails.
Photo: Chris Casella, courtesy of the USBG