Negroni sbagliato

Frankbeverage, drink, Lombardia, summer20 Comments

Negroni sbagliato

It might have been a mistake, but I happen to like a Negroni sbagliato, or “mistaken Nigroni”, even better than the original cocktail. In this “mistaken” version, Prosecco stands in for the gin that gives a classic Negroni its sharp kick. This version is less alcoholic and, to my mind, smoother and more balanced. And, a bit like a Spritz, it has an appealing fizziness from the Prosecco.

The first  Negroni sbagliato was reportedly served in 1972 at Milan’s Bar Basso. The most popular story goes that the bar’s owner/bartender, Mirko Stocchetto, mistakenly grabbed a bottle of Prosecco and added it to a Negroni he was mixing for a client instead of the usual gin. But that rather unlikely story may be an urban myth. Perhaps a bit of self-deprecating promotion by Mirko himself?

In this interview, Maurizio Stocchetto, the inventor’s son, says the Negroni sbagliato was, in fact, a very conscious riff on the classic cocktail, intended to appeal to the bar’s burgeoning female clientele. Back in the 70s, more and more women in Italy began going out to bars. The idea of women drinking in public had previously been slightly shocking, but the times they were a changin’ …

These days, the refreshing taste of a Negroni sbagliato is something we can all appreciate, especially in these summer months. Preferably in close proximity to the shore or a pool.

Ingredients

For each drink:

  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 or 1-1/2 part Prosecco (or more to taste)

Garnish with:

  • A slice or orange, or
  • A twist of orange peel

Directions

Fill your glass with ice, add the sweet vermouth and Campari, then top up with the Prosecco.

Stir, then garnish with an orange slice or twist and serve.

Negroni sbagliato

Notes on the Negroni sbagliato

The original recipe call for equal parts of each of three liquors, but personally I like to add at least 1-1/2 parts Prosecco—sometimes more—to each part vermouth and Campari. I usually just add the vermouth and Campari, then top up with as much Prosecco as I need to fill the glass. To my mind, the drink is even more refreshing and visually appealing that way.

You can garnish your Negroni sbagliato with either an orange slice or a twist of orange peel. For whatever reason, a slice is usual among Italian language recipes, while the twist is de rigueur among English language sources. Not quite sure why, but I prefer the slice, which makes a nice little “snack” afterwards. (Or is that bad manners?)

Serving your Negroni sbagliato neat

If you want to serve your Negroni sbagliato neat, stir the vermouth and Campari with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain into a champagne flute or martini glass, then top up with the Prosecco and garnish before serving.

Negroni sbagliato

Yield: Per drink

Negroni sbagliato

Ingredients

  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 or 1-1/2 part Prosecco (or more to taste)
  • Garnish with:
  • A slice or orange, or
  • A twist of orange peel

Directions

  1. Fill your glass with ice, add the sweet vermouth and Campari, then top up with the Prosecco. 
  2. Stir, then garnish with an orange slice or twist and serve. 

Notes

If you want to serve your Negroni sbagliato neat, stir the vermouth and Campari with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain into a champagne flute or martini glass, then top up with the Prosecco and garnish before serving.

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20 Comments on “Negroni sbagliato”

  1. I absolutely love the sound of this cocktail, Frank! I also like a classic Negroni, but I prefer lighter cocktails more and more as I get older. As for the mythical story of how it was created? I ask only this: “what kind of bartender with mistake a bottle of Prosecco for a bottle of gin? The battleship alone would give it away…“

    1. Indeed, that’s why I always thought the story was malarky. Then I came across that interview, which confirmed my suspicions!

  2. Yes please! I need to pick up a bottle of Cocchi di Torino! So hard to get your hands on here! A friend who owns a resto. here buys up everything he can leaving nothing for the rest of us! Saluti Frank!

  3. Interesting! I love a good negroni, but I’ve never heard of a negroni sbagliato. However, with that said, prosecco in cocktails is totally awesome for summer. Funny enough, but I have a bottle of prosecco here at home right now just looking to be opened. I’m seriously going to mix up a batch of these when we have friends over next weekend. Thanks for the fun idea, Frank!

  4. This will be my cocktail tomorrow , I like this lighter version of the classic Negroni .

  5. I haven’t had Campari in YEARS! I need to buy a bottle and try both versions! Thanks, Frank! I have a feeling I will agree with you on this, too (the sbagliato being more my taste). 🙂

  6. I really like the classic Negroni, but this is a delightful summer substitute. And the fact that it’s less boozy is a real plus on hot days. Good stuff — thanks.

  7. I could live on this and in fact when living in Milano, such drinks were almost daily (but then, it is so hot, one hardly eats anything else). I don’t know if u have not been there, in Milano, for a long time, but I can say that the aperitif time offer is pretty amazing these days. Of course quality varies a lot, but it is often good and it is a fun way of, occasionally, spending one’s evening. stef

    1. I haven’t been to Milan in many years now. I’ve heard about the whole “apericena” phenomenon but haven’t experienced it… yet! Sounds like a lot of fun.

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