The Negroni sbagliato is a spin on the classic cocktail using sparkling wine instead of gin. It’s bitter, sweet, and bubbly all at once: an improvement on the original!
If you love a Negroni, you’ll love this cocktail. And if you don’t love a Negroni…you’ll love it too! Meet the Negroni sbagliato, a “mixed up” version of the classic cocktail using sparkling wine instead of gin. The lightly sweet Prosecco against the bitter Campari and sweet vermouth makes for a better balanced flavor than with gin. Personally I prefer Negroni spin-offs to the real thing: and this one’s my favorite. (Who can’t resist a little bubbly!)
What’s a Negroni sbagliato?
The Negroni sbagliato is a spin-off on the classic Negroni, a 1920’s Italian cocktail that’s equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. The sbagliato version, “mistaken” or “incorrect” in Italian, trades sparkling wine for the gin. It’s a modern spin and was invented in the 1980’s in Milan!
The drink’s lore says that the owner of a bar called Bar Basso was making a Negroni, and mistakenly reached for a bottle of Prosecco instead of gin. You can still get a Negroni sbagliato at Bar Basso if you’re ever in Milan (life goals). Here’s what’s in a Negroni sbagliato:
- Sweet vermouth
- Sparkling wine: Prosecco, champagne, or another variety
How do you pronounce sbagliato? It’s pronounced spal-yacht-oh. (One more time with an Italian accent, please!)
How to make a Negroni sbagliato (basic steps)
The Negroni sbagliato is one of the easiest cocktails out there! It’s equal parts of the all the ingredients: 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons. You don’t even need a cocktail shaker: just mix right in the glass. Here’s what to do (or go to the recipe below):
- Mix. Add the Campari and sweet vermouth to a lowball glass. Add ice.
- Pour in sparkling wine. Add the Prosecco and serve!
How to make a Negroni sbagliato (basic steps)
The Negroni is so easy to make and memorize: use just 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of each of the elements above. You don’t even need a cocktail shaker. Simply stir it together in a cocktail mixing glass, or any glass you have on hand. Here are the basic steps to make it (or go to the recipe below):
- Mix. Add the ingredients to a mixing glass with 1 handful of ice and stir for 30 seconds. This chills the cocktail and dilutes it less than shaking in a cocktail shaker would.
- Strain and serve. Strain into a lowball or Old Fashioned glass filled with ice.
More on Campari
Campari is what makes a Negroni and an Americano. But what is it? Campari is an Italian bitter with a bright red jewel-toned color. It tastes bitter, fruity, and spicy all at once. It’s is infused with different herbs and fruits (part of a secret recipe). Because it’s so bitter, it can be an acquired taste. Either you love it or you hate it! If you do love it, there are lots more Campari cocktails to try…keep reading!
Vermouth is a fortified wine, meaning liquor has been added to the wine. There are two main types of vermouth: sweet (usually red) and dry (usually white). Sweet vermouth is subtly sweet and spicy, with a hit of bitter on the back end.
Sweet vermouth is used in many classic cocktails: most famously the Manhattan, Martinez, and the Negroni. Dry white vermouth is totally different; it’s used in martinis, like the Classic Martini, Dirty Martini and Cucumber Martini. Whatever vermouth you have on hand, make sure to store it in the refrigerator; it will stay good for up to 3 months.
More Negroni variations!
There are lots of variations on the Negroni; most of which we think make it taste better! Here are the top best ways to vary up your Negroni:
- Make a Boulevardier: A Negroni with whiskey! Campari, sweet vermouth, and whiskey.
- Make an Old Pal: A cleaner, drier Negroni! Campari, dry vemouth, and whiskey.
- Make a Mezcal Negroni: A smoky Negroni! Campari, sweet vermouth, and mezcal.
- Make a White Negroni: The bright yellow color and light floral flavor come from Lillet Blanc and Suze.
When to serve a Negroni sbagliato
The Negroni sbagliato cocktail is sophisticated and bubbly! It’s perfect for serving anytime, but great for summer and celebrations. Serve it as a:
- Happy hour drink
- Dinner party drink
- Summer drink
- Before dinner drink
- Late night drinks drink
- Guys or girls night drink
- Cocktail hour drink
The Negroni sbagliato is a spin on the classic cocktail using sparkling wine instead of gin. It’s bitter, sweet and bubbly all at once: an improvement on the original!
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) sweet or semi-sweet red vermouth
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Campari
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Prosecco, champagne or other sparkling wine
- Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)
- For the garnish: Orange peel
- Stir the vermouth and Campari in a lowball glass. Add ice.
- Top off the glass with the sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange peel and serve.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: Cocktails
Keywords: Negroni sbagliato
More great cocktails
Here are a few more of our great cocktails to add to your repertoire:
- French 75 Cocktail A sophisticated cocktail made with gin and lemon! Or browse more champagne cocktails, like the 2-ingredient Chambord & Champagne.
- Tom Collins Cocktail This popular sweet sour cocktail is light and bubbly! Don’t forget the cherry.
- Classic Margarita The very best classic margarita: lime, tequila and Cointreau. Perfection! And 10+ more ways to make a margarita.
- Favorite Whiskey Sour Perfectly balanced and so easy to make! Or add a foam topping to make it a Boston Sour.
- Bellini This sparkling Italian cocktail pairs peach puree and Prosecco for bubbly fresh flavor.
- Classic Mojito Perfectly balanced with lime, rum and fresh mint! This iconic Cuban cocktail is refreshing and just sweet enough.
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.