It is a strange phrase, ‘an acquired taste’. It’s often, of course, merely a politic euphemism used in reference to an individual we deem - how shall we put it? - somewhat less-than-satisfactory. As such, it’s a wonderfully all-encompassing, highly nuanced barb.
Yet when used to describe a food or drink that we don’t like but wished we did (we’re looking at you, olives), it takes on a different hue. The implication is that it is the subject rather than the object that is as fault. For many, it was avocados. For others, beer or whisky. Our tastes must to mature and adjust to accommodate these flavours in question rather than the flavours making way for our existing tastes.
Equal parts London dry gin, Martini rosso and Campari, the Negroni is a fine example. After all, it’s slightly counterintuitive, when looking for refreshment in hot climes to order three ounces of undiluted, bitter booze when one might be more inclined toward something longer, paler, fizzier… something altogether weaker.
For those who have yet to have the pleasure, however, we recommend acquiring a taste for the Negroni. It’s simplicity itself to make at home: equal parts of each ingredient, stirred over ice and served in a tumbler with a twist of orange.
However, it is perhaps too occasional a drink to justify stocking up on all these oneself. Instead, and in lieu of a beach by which to drink one, we recommend Bar Termini on Old Compton Street to Negroni novices and veterans alike. Like the drink itself, it’s small but perfectly formed and it makes a happy change of scene for a quick and highly civilized tipple before supper.