With its unexpected use of prosecco instead of gin, Negroni Sbagliato is a delicious variation that showcases Italian innovation in cocktails, offering a lighter yet equally captivating taste experience.
This simple yet elegant twist on the traditional Negroni is a testament to turning mistakes into something good and has gained international acclaim for its effervescent and refreshing flavor profile.
Appealing to both cocktail aficionados and those seeking a simple drink to enjoy while hanging out, the Negroni Sbagliato is uniquely invigorating. Here’s how to make it at home!
Why is it called Negroni Sbagliato?
As you may know from our previous posts, the classic Negroni was invented in 1920 in Florence by Count Camillo Negroni. The Negroni Sbagliato, on the other hand, was invented at the Bar Rosso in Milan during the ‘70s.
According to the legend, the author was bartender Mirko Stocchetto. When asked to make a Negroni, he didn’t quite remember the ingredients and used a bottle of prosecco instead of gin – hence, the name sbagliato, which means “wrong”.
Thanks to its lower alcohol content and its impeccable taste, this variant spread quickly and became a world-famous cocktail.
Not bad for something that came out of a mistake, right?
What you’ll need
Prosecco DOCG: or any sparkling brut, if you prefer. However, I wouldn’t save on this one, since a good sparkling wine will definitely make a difference.
Campari: this is the official bitter used for the standard Negroni, and it works perfectly as well with the Negroni Sbagliato. However, I would also recommend trying out other brands, like Select or Martini Bitter.
Like with the standard Negroni, some people also like to do it with Aperol. Aperol has a sweeter taste and lower alcohol content, and I wouldn’t recommend it for a normal Negroni. However, isn’t the whole point of this recipe to make things wrong and get something good out of it? Try it out and choose for yourself.
Red Vermouth: Red vermouth is a sweet fortified wine that originated in Piedmont. If you don’t mind spending, Carpano Antica Formula and Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino are both excellent choices. If, on the other hand, you’re on a budget, Cinzano Rosso is a very valid alternative. Other good choices are Carpano Classico and Vermouth Cocchi Storico, which has a distinctive hint of vanilla.
Half a slice of orange, or an orange peel: every bartender has their own way of garnishing Negroni. Orange slices and peels are the most common choices. However, feel free to use other alternatives like lemons, lime or grapefruit peels.
Ice, a glass and a bartender spoon: the Sbagliato is usually served in a tumbler glass. Since these glasses are not very tall, you can use a normal teaspoon if you don’t have a bartender spoon. The ice should be added after pouring the ingredients and before stirring, as doing otherwise could dilute them excessively.
As for the standard Negroni, the rule of thumb is to use the three main ingredients in equal measures, but you can make your own experiments. Gin, bitters and vermouth are all made with various blends of herbs. Every producer has their own unique blend – so, depending on which brand of each you choose, you might have to adjust the recipe to find the right balance.
Start with the following recipe card to get acquainted with the taste of a usual Negroni Sbagliato, and then make it yours by trying different amounts and varying the types of gin, bitter and vermouth.