The 3-Ingredient Sbagliato is the Perfect Summer Sipper

The 3-Ingredient Sbagliato is the Perfect Summer Sipper

The negroni has been having a moment for a while now. Which means all kinds of variations of this classic equal parts drink have been showing up, but no variation is more stand-out than the bubbly sbgliato (also called negroni sbagliato). Sbagliato means mistake in Italian, but mixing up this cocktail is anything but. 

The sbgliato rose to recent fame thanks to a viral clip on TikTok from an interview with Emma D’Arcy from House of the Dragon in 2022. Despite some gimmicky trends that can arise from the platform, the sbagliato is a certified delicious drink. It has been a favorite in Italy and beloved by negroni fans for years.

The Birth of the Sbagliato

The sbgliato’s (“spa-lee-at-toh”) origins are said to have been a mistake, but what a delicious one. It was first mixed up by Mirko Stocchetto in the 1970s at Milan’s Bar Basso. While making a negroni for a guest, he accidentally grabbed a bottle of sparkling wine instead of the typical gin used in a negroni. He decided to combine the bubbles with the Campari and vermouth.

The effervescent variation ended up being a hit. It sits somewhere between a bold negroni and an Aperol spritz and will be enjoyed by lovers of either of these cocktails.

To Prosecco or Not to Prosecco? 

Prosecco is an affordable option when it comes to sparkling wine. Like young cava and crémant de Loire which are similarly priced, the cost makes it approachable for mixing into cocktails.

Prosecco has varying levels of sweetness, but typical bottles we often find in grocery stores in the US can tend to be on the sweater side compared to Champagne and California sparkling wine. The added sweetness from the prosecco is a nice balance to the bitter Campari.

This is a perfect cocktail to reach for on a summer day or for aperitivo hour before a large meal. Grab a bottle of bubbles, vermouth, and Campari—maybe the sbgaliato with be your new drink of choice! 

Tips for Making Sbagliato

  • Get it icy cold—Chill your glass in the freezer for the perfect temperature on a hot day.
  • Pick rocks—Use a large cube of ice in your glass for less dilution. 
  • Know when to stop stirring—When stirring in the prosecco, only stir enough to combine it with the Campari and vermouth. Excessive stirring will cause the wine to go flat.

The Negroni Sbagliato is the perfect choice for Negroni fans who want a lighter version of their favorite cocktail. Swapping out gin for prosecco lowers the alcohol content and creates a smooth, bubbly drink with the same sweet, slightly bitter notes as the original. I used a blood orange slice for garnish, which looked beautiful” —Joan Velush

Negroni Sbagliato A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Campari

  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

  • 1 ounce sparkling wine, such as prosecco

  • 1 orange slice, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make a negroni sbagliato cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Add ice cubes or 1 large rock to a glass. Add the Campari and vermouth to the glass and stir for 20 seconds.

    A hand stirring Campari and vermouth in a rocks glass with ice

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the sparkling wine and gently stir.

    A hand stirring sparkling wine into a rocks glass with Campari and vermouth

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Garnish with the orange slice, and serve.

    A Negroni Sbagliato cocktail garnished with an orange slice

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Variations

  • Swap the aperitif—I like to use different vermouths or grape-based aperitifs to mix up the Sbagliato. A personal favorite is Mommenpop Blood Orange aperitif, a grape-based aperitif from California that amps up the citrus notes and goes so well with the Campari.
  • Rosé all day—Replace the sparkling wine with sparkling rosé. It will add more fruit-forward notes to the sbagliato and a give it a rosier hue.
  • Make it a spritz—Top the sbagliato with more sparkling wine to make it a more refreshing and spritz-like drink.
  • The Americano is another bubbly negroni variation that uses soda water instead of sparkling wine. Swap out the sparkling wine for sparkling water for a refreshing variation.

How Strong Is a Sbagliato?

The sbagliato comes in at around 14 percent ABV (28 proof). This is stronger than the lightweight Americano but less than half the proof of a Manhattan, making it an ideal sippable cocktail for a hot summer afternoon.

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