The negroni is the modern gentleman’s tipple of choice, says Simon de Burton in The Spectator. Yet this classic Italian aperitivo – a blend of Campari, red vermouth and gin – has contested origins. One story has a French general called the “Count de Negroni” asking a bartender to spice up his americano cocktail by adding gin instead of soda water. Another suggests that General de Negrono created it in Senegal in 1857, or possibly 1914.
Either way, it received a publicity boost from film director Orson Welles. While working on Black Magic in Rome in 1947, he tried a negroni for the first time: “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.”
Addicted to oat milk
“When I left rehab back in 2017, I naively thought that I had done my last battle with addiction,” says Bryony Gordon in the Telegraph. Four years later I found myself hooked on oat milk. It started innocently – after all, “oat milk is the darling of the wellness scene”. I would smugly pour it into my coffee, thrilled with my dairy-free virtuousness.
Then, “before I knew it, I was drinking it neat, like vodka”. I planned my day around my next fix and bulk-bought 56 cartons at a time. If a coffee shop didn’t serve oat, I would skulk out “like a drunk denied more alcohol in a pub”. And I’m not alone: sales of oat milk in the UK almost doubled to £73m last year.
The trouble is, oat milk is processed food – just like the cereal and granola bars I was proudly scoffing. When a concerned friend pointed this out, “I was shocked by how many so-called healthy things were full of chemicals”. In addiction terms, it’s “a bit like doing lines of cocaine”. Now for the good news: giving up is rather easier. Sure, the first three days were dark – nausea, fatigue, headaches. But after that, life back on good old-fashioned cow milk felt effortless.
Ingredient of the week: cucumbers
We don’t get the most out of cucumbers, says chef Harriet Mansell in Waitrose Weekend. It’s “fed to kids in sticks, sliced to put into cheese sandwiches, or chopped into a salad for a bit of crunch”. Which is fine, but there’s so much more to this underrated vegetable. Try blitzing it with tomatoes, salad onions, basil and garlic, then sieving the mixture slowly over 24 hours. The liquid is like a distilled gazpacho: “Versatile, delicious and the epitome of our summertime.”
Better still, cucumbers are seriously good for you. For a summary of their health benefits, watch this viral video 👎