In a belated response to my thoughts on the Negroni, my good friend, John Irving, aka The Sage of Bra (a fine town in Piedmont and home of Slow Food) sent me me this extract from an article he wrote about the Negroni sometime ago. It emphasises, I think, the reasons for not tinkering with classics.
‘Italian food historian Alberto Capatti, colleague Giovanni Ruffa and I meet for a Negroni once a week. A couple of years ago Ruffa, a proof reader, was struggling with the occupational hazard of eye strain—at one stage he feared he was going blind. But after our weekly Negroni, his sight returned. ‘It’s a miracle,’ he cried. ‘I feel like the Blind Man of Bethsaida!’ I don’t recommend you try this at home, of course, though Kingsley Amis might have. He wrote of the Negroni that, ‘It has the power, rare with drinks and indeed with anything else, of cheering you up. This may be down to the Campari, said by its fans to have great restorative power.’
I’m baffled, though, why one shouldn’t try this at home.