Anti-Drink of the Week: The Negroni

Innocent looking, isn't it?

There are almost as many varieties of bartenders as there are spirits. There are the ones who have an encyclopedic knowledge of booze and a patient bedside manner, and there are the ones who trade in insults and surliness to deflect questions from the likes of me. Luckily, Tess at Annie’s Social Club falls into the former category. He looked upon me with kindness from behind poodle pink shades as I peppered him with queries. “What’s Drambuie?” “What’s a Rusty Nail?” and “What’s Campari?” which lead to the fateful question, “What’s a Negroni?”

A_Stolen_Life_movie_poster.jpgAccording to Tess, the Negroni is “an acquired taste.” According to the International Bartenders Association, it’s one part gin, one part Red Vermouth and one part Campari. In truth, it’s one of the worst drinks I’ve ever had.

Campari is an herbal aperitif comprised of sixty ingredients (if Wikipedia is to be believed), one of which I can only assume is pure evil. Unlike its cousins Sambuca and Fernet, it doesn’t have an ounce of sweetness in it. Campari is bitter, much more bitter than lemon. It’s like licking a light socket, sucking on a dirty sock.

I passed the drink around to others, who took one sip and then pulled faces that looked like wrung out washrags.

Tess told me that whenever he thought of the Negroni he was reminded of a Betty Davis movie, one in which she plays a pair twins. One falls in love with a man, and the other promptly steals him away. As is wont to happen in situations such as this, the temptress falls off a boat and drowns and the lovelorn one assumes her personality, although she fails to pick up all of her twin's habits, one of which is swilling Negronis.

Sometimes the Evil Twin has a few good traits. -Andy Wright

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