Negroni Sbagliato

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HBO's House of the Dragon star Emma D'Arcy brought the Negroni Sbagliato in the spotlight, and we can't stop drinking them.

Negroni Sbagliato
Photo: Matt Taylor-Gross

Let's say it together: Spag-lee-ah-toe. Ever since a TikTok featuring Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke, the co stars of HBO's House of Dragon, went totally viral, we can't stop saying the word Sbagliato. In the original video (which has well over 20 million views) Cooke asks D'Arcy "what's your drink of choice?" D'Arcy responds slowly, "A Negroni," but adds a key distinction: "Sbagliato, with prosecco in it." Cooke's fabulously British response, "Oh stunning" sums up the glamor and elegance of the classic (now totally viral) cocktail.

The history of the Negroni dates back over 100 years to a Florentine cafe where an Italian Count (named Negroni) ordered an Americano but asked for gin in lieu of soda water to strengthen the cocktail. The origin story of the Italian aperitivo, a personalized variation of an Americano for a persnickety Count customer, teases its future as a cocktail with what feels like endless tweaks and changes. The Sbagliato is just one of the many varieties.

Like an Americano composed of Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water, a Sbagliato leans on effervescent Prosecco for bubbles and a bit of added sweetness. The Italian sparkling wine is known for its sweeter, fruit-forward flavor which balances the bitter Campari and helps brighten the earthier flavors found in sweet vermouth. Plus, the use of Prosecco in place of gin makes the Sbagliato a lower-ABV alternative to a classic Negroni (hello, day drinking!).

The simple three-ingredient Sbagliato welcomes play when it comes to flavor. After a trip to Milan nearly a decade ago where Top Chef alumnus Joe Flamm was served his first Negroni Sbagliato at a hotel bar, he was inspired to bring the drink home to his own restaurant. "The hotel bartender, Lino, served me my first Sbagliato. It was delicious! A perfect balance of bitter and sweet, easy light drinking, I fell in love with it on the spot," recalls Flamm. He returned stateside bursting with ideas on how to add flavor and dimension to the classic Italian cocktail.

At Rose Mary, Flamm's debut restaurant in Chicago, exquisite Italian fare is paired with inventive takes on Italian drinks. "The Sbagliato makes the perfect addition to the Rose Mary menu as we head into colder weather — a cocktail from a cooler Italian city that still takes your mind to a warmer place," says Flamm. "It's the perfect wintertime spritz." Rose Mary's Sbagliato, aptly named the RM Sbagliato, was developed by Rose Mary's Kyle Davidson and Leigh Ervine. The RM Sbagliato features the three classic ingredients and two twists: Earl Grey syrup and Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto. Italicus is an Italian liqueur flavored with aromatic Bergamot peel and citrus, and herbaceous lavender, chamomile, and gentian. The Italicus pairs perfectly with Bergamot-scented Earl Grey syrup which adds an extra hit of sweetness to the bitter Sbagliato.

A classic Negroni Sbagliato cannot be beat, so try that first. But be inspired by creative variations like Flamm's and add your own twist.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Campari

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sweet Vermouth

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Prosecco or other sparkling wine

  • 1 orange

Directions

  1. Combine the Campari and sweet vermouth in a rocks glass with ice. Stir and top with Prosecco. Garnish with an orange peel.

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