What do the idle rich do in the modern world? Apparently, nothing. That’s why they’re called the idle rich.
In the old days, though, the rich and titled did do worthwhile things . . . like invent cocktails. Consider Count Negroni. In 1919, this Italian nobleman decided that the recent end of World War I and the Spanish flu epidemic that was ravaging the world wasn’t going to keep him from experimenting with tasty combinations of different liquors and inventing a drink that he humbly named after himself. At least, that’s the takeaway I got from a bar coaster at Curio that announced that last Saturday was part of Negroni Week — and if you can’t trust a bar coaster for accurate historical information, what has the world come to?
I figured that if a Negroni was so noteworthy that it has a week named after it, it was worth a taste. For those of you, like me, who had never tried a Negroni, the basic concoction is made with gin, vermouth, and Campari, garnished with an orange peel. It’s an interesting drink, with a complex taste (and aftertaste) that includes some bitterness. It’s not a drink for everyone — but I can see where some people could grow to love it, and where the old Count might decide that he had come up with a winner.