The recipe of the Negroni Sbagliato Cocktail is a sparkly, balanced, elegant mix of Campari, sweet vermouth, and Prosecco. However, it was an accidental creation. That even shows in the name of the drink. Sbagliato is Italian for incorrect.
Quick Facts Negroni Sbagliato Cocktail
- Method: stirred
- Flavor profile: bittersweet
- How to serve it: over ice
- Best glassware: rocks glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 15% ABV, 13 grams of alcohol per serving
The recipe is a sparkling, unique take on a classic Italian aperitivo cocktail with an interesting history and prominent fans.
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Mixing glass
- 1 Bar spoon
- 1 Hawthorne Strainer
- 1 oz Campari
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 2 oz Dry Prosecco spumante
- Mix Campari and Sweet Vermouth in a mixing glass with plenty of ice and stir until chilled. Then strain into an ice-filled glass.
- Top up with Prosecco and gently stir the drink again.
- Optionally garnish with orange peel or a thin orange slice.
Tips for a sensational Negroni Sbagliato
Sparkling ingredients are delicate. If shaken too strong, mixed too fast, or used too warm, the fizzy bubbles will vanish in an instant. So you should be careful and follow these tips:
First, make sure that all your ingredients are chilled. Vermouth needs to be chilled anyway. But also the Campari and, of course, the Prosecco need to be ice cold.
Second, combine Campari and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass with plenty of ice. Then pour into a glass with ice.
Third, pour the Prosecco and give the drink a quick but gentle stir before serving.
Ingredients with Recommendations
Instead of the gin, the Negroni Sbagliato calls for Italian bubbly, creating a lower-ABV version of the classic Negroni. Here is what we use for our recipe - and why:
- Sparkling Wine: The Prosecco should be a "spumante" not "frizzante", at least if you prefer your Negroni Sbagliato properly sparkling. Prosecco "frizzante" is semi-sparkling and will fall flat much quicker than a spumante. Also, the low sweetness levels of Extra Dry or Brut Prosecco fit best.
- Vermouth: for the sweet vermouth, we like to use Carpano Antica Formula. It's slightly more expensive than, e.g., Martini Rosso, but it's worth it.
- Campari: the bittersweet herbal liqueur is a must for this drink.
The Negroni is a gin cocktail that has brought forth a great variety of variations, and new recipes and twists continue to come up on a regular basis. Here are some of our favorites:
How the Negroni Sbagliato Became a Meme
Recently, in an Interview with co-star Olivia Cooke (playing Alicent Hohenturm), actress Emma D'Arcy (Prinzessin Rhaenyra Targaryen) revealed that her current favorite drink is the Negroni Sbagliato.
After that, the Prosecco-based Negroni went viral on Social Media and became a meme on TikTok. It's everywhere, and the beautiful Negroni Sbagliato -along with the classic and other riffs like the White Negroni- is gaining a whole new fanbase and some well-deserved attention.
History of the Negroni Sbagliato
Bar Basso, a renowned cocktail bar in Milan, is credited with inventing the Negroni Sbagliato. As the story goes, a busy bartender confused a bottle of gin with a bottle of Prosecco while making a Negroni and only realized his mistake when it was too late.
The customer, however, didn't complain. He loved what he received, and the mistake of a bartender led to a new classic recipe. Until today, Bar Basso still serves countless Negroni Sbagliatos on a daily basis. -All thanks to a small error.
The red and bittersweet cocktail soon got served all over Italy. And so it happened that the "mistaken" version originated in Milan and not in Florence like the original.
Perhaps you know that the classic Negroni itself is a riff on another drink: A bartender at Caffe Casoni in Florence created a boozy version of the Americano cocktail for a regular customer, Count Camillo Negroni. Et voilà - a new classic was born.