If charity isn't a good reason for drinking, then what is?
Last week over 6,000 establishments in over 44 countries took part in the third annual Negroni Week
, designating favorite charities (from food banks to pet adoption) and dreaming up riffs on the classic three-ingredient cocktail of Campari, gin and vermouth. With an additional $10,000 promised to the top fundraiser, the stakes were high for competitive cocktails.
While I was more than happy to celebrate a week of charitable imbibing — especially one that reaches as far as Nigeria, Poland, Australia and India — I shamefully admit that I truly dislike Campari. The last time I was in Italy, I herded my boyfriend into an osteria, made him order an Aperol spritz and a Negroni, and proceeded to detest them both.
Years later I was working for a magazine that had little more in their liquor cabinet than Aperol, Campari and far too much tonic water. Again, I thought I would try these Italian traditions, and again I was terribly disappointed (I'm also not the greatest mixologist, so there is that to take into account).
This week I thought I would try once more, with the naïve belief that any flavor can be masked or mellowed with enough mixers and panache. So, I put on the dedicated Pandora station and went out to conquer my Campari aversion.