The first time I ordered a Negroni Sbagliato at a hotel bar in Rome, the bartender looked at me quizzically. I wasn't sure if my pronunciation was that bad or if, as people often tell me, I was speaking too softly. So I repeated myself and added, "With Prosecco instead of gin?" He shook his head and said, "But, my dear, that's wrong."
I soon realized that this was a joke he had told many times before: In Italian, "sbagliato" means "wrong," "messed up," or "mistaken." The twist on the classic cocktail is said to have originated when a rushed bartender making a Negroni accidentally picked up a bottle of Prosecco instead of gin. A fortunate mistake, if you ask anyone who's tried it.
A classic Negroni is equal parts gin, campari, and sweet vermouth, but feel free to add a bit more Prosecco than you would gin, if you like. I've never seen a bartender in Italy measure a Negroni, so you'll be in good company. —Julie Myers
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Julie Myers is a past-member of the Food52 team with a Masters in Food earned in Italy.
WHAT: A simple, subtler cousin of the classic Negroni.
HOW: Pour two of our favorite types of alcohol into a glass with ice. Stir, top with bubbly, and drink
WHY WE LOVE IT: This version of the bitter and harshly sweet Negroni replaces gin with Prosecco for a lighter, sparkling pre-dinner drink. When we close our eyes and take a sip, it almost feels like we're on the shore of Cinque Terre—almost. —The Editors