As we leave 2018 behind, let’s hope we can begin to correct the wrongs we have been suffering through in 2019 — mistaken ideas of government, of policy, and of culture, that betray the ideals of what America is supposed to be.
Before you get to the fancy Champagne toast at midnight, warm up for the main event with a slightly bitter aperitivo, the Negroni Sbagliato cocktail.
Sbagliato means mistaken or incorrect in Italian. It was added to Negroni in the early 1970s when a happy accident at Bar Basso in Milan subbed prosecco for gin. You can get the whole story from Gaz Regan in his fantastic book Negroni. I pulled the recipe from the book Spritz, however, though it can be found easily in many cocktail books or across the internet.
It is much easier to find the recipe, apparently, than it is for the administration to find the traditional or ethical, or even competent, path to govern our country. From putting kids in cages, shutting down government over an ill-conceived wall, to betraying allies in favor of dictators and up-ending a world order we helped put in place after World War II (among many examples), we have clearly lost our way.
The aftermath of our current administration will take a lot of work to recover from and rebuild our standing in the world. However, if we can take this historic mistake and use it to renew our democracy, the rule of law, the engagement and participation of a majority of Americans across all demographic groups, then like a Negroni Sbagliato we will come away with something that is both familiar and different, and good.
My hope for 2019 is to begin working our way back and correcting the mistakes.
In a rocks glass over one big ice cube, build:
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
3 oz prosecco
Garnish with half an orange wheel.
Cheers and Happy New Year!