We mentioned the Negroni Sbagliato as a not too well known variation of the classic Negroni in our post about that cocktail a while back. The additional term, Sbagliato, which means mistaken, erroneous or just plain wrong, is used to describe a variant of the Negroni which is not, actually, a Negroni at all, but something else – a cocktail of its own that’s sorta like a Negroni. The classic Negroni uses a 1:1:1 ratio of Gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. The Sbagliato variation replaces the Gin with Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) using the same ratio. Other than the fact that they are both dominated by the taste of Campari, each drink goes down in its own, unique way.
I’m not a Campari fan and I’m not a fan of the Negroni. Campari is one of those love it or hate it things and I’m not on the love it side of this one. As you’d expect, I don’t like the standard Negroni Sbagliato any more than the Negroni. If the Gin in the standard Negroni can’t overcome my dislike of Campari, it’s unlikely that sparkling wine ever will.
Never one to give up, I replaced the Campari with Aperol in the drink to give it a spin. Campari and Aperol are both Italian aperitivos and both are made by the same company. That’s where their similarities end. Campari is bolder, more bitter and has twice the alcohol of Aperol. It also has a richer ruby color as well. Aperol is a bit lighter tasting and has more sugar. While it’s hardly sweet, the lower alcohol content, less bitter taste and more sugar make it a much nicer mixer when you’re going for a bitter taste that’s not overwhelming. As it turns out, the switch of Aperol for Campari in the Negroni Sbagliato works great and creates an excellent drink. It’s a light aperitif that’s perfect before any meal. It’s light enough to have almost any time.
The Negroni Sbagliato Redux
- 1 oz Aperol
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth (I used Carpano Antica)
- 1 oz Prosecco
- Orange slice for garnish
Add ice to a mixing glass then measure and pour the Aperol and Sweet Vermouth into the glass. Stir until very cold. Add more ice to the rocks glass and pour the Aperol/Vermouth over the ice. Add the previously chilled Prosecco to the rocks glass and stir the glass once or twice to mix. Try not to release too much of the carbonation from the Prosecco. Garnish with an orange slice or peel.
Why You’ll Like the Negroni Sbagliato Redux
It’s a light, appropriately and reasonably bitter drink that’s perfect as an aperitif or anytime you or your guests want something that’s refreshing, but bold.