I was once told that you have to drink Campari at least 3 times before you develop a taste (tolerance?) for it. I might have made it to 4, I still find it unpleasantly bitter, but we sell a surprising amount if it so I'm not necessarily in the majority on this one. Negroni's seem to be remaining a thing as well, so much so that pre made versions are now available from Waitrose (supermarkets wait a goodish go there timevto be sure something is going to be worth the selling space).
It's a simple cocktail, the classic version being equal parts Campari, gin, and sweet red vermouth. If it truly was invented in 1919, or earlier, than the authentic gin to use would probably be a slightly sweeter old Tom style, rather than a London dry. At least one recipe I've seen ups the ratio of gin, and there's plenty of discussion to be had about the brand of vermouth to use.
I don't really have the required patience to make anything more complicated than a gin and tonic at home, and figure that a pre mixed bottle of negroni saves on both washing up and recycling, so seems quite acceptable to me. I also find that Christmas is the only time of year that I find negroni's at all appealing - the bitterness makes a good counterpoint to all the rich food going around, it also stops me knocking them back particularly quickly.
I've been thinking about possible book matches for Negroni's (or Campari) all day with limited success - they speak to me of 1950's and 60's Italy and a dolce vita outlook - which doesn't particularly reflect my reading, but when I started hunting references I came up with Ian Fleming's 'For Your Eyes Only' which seems perfect.
It's a collection of short stories, which I always consider to be a win, possibly perfect for pre dinner reading with an appropriate aperitif... It was published around 1960 which matches the Mad Men vibe Negroni's give me, and Fleming and Bond do an appropriate sort of seedy glamour to a tee. I suspect that these days more people are familiar with the films than they are the books which would make 'For Your Eyes Only' a fairly safe stocking filler or token gift too - at least for those likely to enjoy the nostalgia, the action, or the drink spotting. (I admit to the latter, it's probably obvious by now how much I love details like that.)