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Negroni Sbagliato


This is essentially a Negroni spritz.  It's a relative of, and similar to, the Aperol Spritz, only a touch more bitter with a hint of earthiness that gives it more of the gravitas.  It is a fantastic low-proof cocktail and makes for an excellent aperitif.  


Sbagliato (spAHg-lee-AH-toh, though in the correct Italian pronunciation the “g” is silent) means “mistaken” or "screwed up".  This is because this drink was allegedly created by accident.  The setting: Milan's Bar Basso in 1968. The scene: celebrated Venetian bartender Mirko Stocchetto - who sadly just passed away at 86 in 2016 -  was preparing a Negroni.   Apparently, a bottle of Prosecco had been unwittingly placed in the spot where the gin should be and Stocchetto added it to the drink.  Not wanting anything to go to waste, the customer tried it and realized the slip up wasn't so bad.  The rest is delightfully fizzy cocktail history.


Personally, I’d call this a happy accident rather than a mistake. But of course, “Negroni Contento” doesn’t sound nearly as cool.  



  • 1 oz sweet vermouth

  • 1 oz Campari

  • 3 oz (or so) Prosecco or another dry sparkling wine

  • orange peel for garnish


In a chilled rocks glass, combine the Campari and sweet vermouth.  Add ice and briefly stir.  Top with Prosecco and stir gently once or twice more and garnish with an orange peel.


Sbagliato Rosa - and Other Variations


Like the Negroni, the Sbagliato is tailor-made for plug and play.  Change up the vermouth portion for another fortified wine and use another bitter liqueur, aka amaro, in for the Campari and chances are you'll hit on something that works.  Lighter aperitif style fortified wines and bitter liqueurs work particularly well, such as Aperol, white/blanc vermouth, Lillet Blanc/Rosé, Cocchi Americano/Rosé, Cappelletti.


Here’s one that I did for Clover Club’s menu a couple years back.  It’s one of my favorite cocktails that I’ve personally created, despite being among the simplest.  Any of those ingredients I just mentioned above can be substituted in here.


  • 1 oz Cocchi Rosa - can also use Lillet Rosé or Lillet Blanc

  • 1 oz Cappelletti - can also use Aperol

  • 3 oz sparkling rosé - prosecco works too

  • orange and grapefruit peels - for garnish


Prepare as above.


rye whiskey, social hour, tom macy, cocktail, classic cocktail

If you make a Negroni Sbagliato or Rosa,

let me see!  Tag a photo with @socialhourcocktails on Instagram.

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The Sbagliato Rosa, an all-things-pink riff on the Sbagliato.  Lighter, with ripe and dark fruit flavors, finishing decidedly dry and delightfully bitter, naturally.

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