Negroni Sbagliato – The Happiest of Mistakes

Harry Lambourne
27th May 2022

Sbagliato means ‘mistake’ in Italian, but it’s hard to believe the Negroni Sbagliato was unintentional when you drink it. Supposedly, the bartender making this drink accidentally used sparkling wine, rather than gin, when preparing a Negroni. If that’s the case, I’m very happy they did.

Traditionally, the Negroni Sbagliato is made with Prosecco, but other sparkling wines will work. This easy Champagne cocktail combines sparkling white wine, sweet vermouth and Campari.

Two of the key appeals of the classic Negroni are that the flavours are well balanced and it is very easy to make. The Negroni Sbagliato is exactly the same.

Let’s look at how you can make a delicious Negroni Sbagliato right at home!

Ingredients for The Negroni Sbagliato

  • 25ml Sweet Red Vermouth. We think that the Rosé Vermut from the sherry producers at Bodegas Lustau works particularly well in a Negroni Sbagliato.
  • 25ml of Campari.
  • Top with dry sparkling wine, (Prosecco works best)
  • Ice
  • Orange for garnish.

How To Make A Negroni Sbagliato

  1. Add the vermouth and Campari to a highball glass with ice.
  2. Use a long spoon or a bar spoon to stir together.
  3. Fill to the top with Prosecco.
  4. Garnish with an orange slice, or a twist of orange.

Our Top Picks For Sparkling Wine Pairings

Piera – Prosecco DOC

Piera have been making organic wine since 1998 and are well known in Italy as being some of the best value DOC wines in the country. The Piera Prosecco is a classic offering. Straw yellow with a fine mousse. Fresh, fruity and floral. This makes it the perfect addition to the Negroni Sbagliato.

I Muretti – Almaderia Spumante Brut

Agricola I Muretti are a small, organic, family run vineyard just off the coast of Rimini in Italy. They don’t use artificial sprays and chemical in the vineyards, opting to use natural and environmentally sustainable methods to produce their wine.

While this isn’t a Prosecco, it uses the aromatic Famoso grape. Combine this with the use of the Charmat Method of fermentation and the end result is a great alternative to your usual Italian fizz. It retains freshness and citrus notes, with touches of tropical fruits, such as passion fruit.

Pievalta – Perlugo Zero Spumante Brut

In 2002 Barone Pizzini saw the potential of the Marche region, to grow the indigenous Verdicchio grape and Pievalta was born. Today they operate over 43 hectares and produce exquisite organic, bio-dynamic and vegan wines.

This is a really unique Italian Spumante. The delicate notes of Verdicchio are retained, due to secondary fermentation taking place in stainless steel. Furthermore, the dosage is zero, meaning no sugar is added. This makes it deeply dry, which makes it the perfect partner for the Negroni Sbagliato.

Tasting Notes For The Negroni Sbagliato

For those of you who are unfamiliar, a Negroni is a bitter and boozy drink. It can be a polarising drink. For some, it’s the benchmark for cocktails. For others, the smell alone is too much. Well, whether the Negroni is your friend or foe, the Negroni Sbagliato is a great alternative. The Negroni Sbagliato retains enough character of the original drink, while making it fruity, floral and less boozy. The Negroni Sbagliato is a great aperitivo. Get a small bowl of salted crisps, some nocellara olives, a patch of sun and you could be in Italy.

As we’ve said, bitter is the name of the game with a Negroni. This is why the addition of sparkling wine makes it more accessible and light. It brings a level of sweetness and acidity, not found in the original drink, which counteracts the bitter notes. Beyond that, the sparkling wine in a Negroni Sbagliato takes the place of gin in the classic version. Both the sparkling wine and gin provide dryness to the cocktail. This makes it an ideal substitute.

Dry, sparkling, slightly bitter, with fruity and floral notes. The Negroni Sbagliato is delicious.

Maybe this cocktail isn’t for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read our guide for Champagne Cocktails here, for some more inspiration.

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