Variations and Substitutions
While you can't necessarily swap the type of ingredients, you can experiment with different flavors and proportions.
- Try out different proportions of the ingredients. If you want a fizzier Sbagliato, use an extra quarter to half an ounce of sparkling wine, modifying the other ingredients to add up to approximately three ounces.
- Using the same math as above, you can modify the proportions of the sweet vermouth and Campari. More Campari will give the drink a more bitter flavor, while the sweet vermouth gives a bitter vanilla with a subtle sweetness.
- Different styles of sparkling wine will alter the overall taste; brut will be drier while prosecco offers a brighter taste.
- Include a few dashes of orange or lemon bitters to capitalize on the existing citrus notes.
If the orange wedge garnish doesn't speak to your cocktail soul, consider a few of the following.
- Opt for an orange wheel or slice instead of the wedge.
- A lemon wedge, wheel, or slice adds a similar citrus brightness to the drink.
- Consider an orange or lemon peel, twist, or ribbon for a pop of color.
- Carve a design in a citrus peel such as a coin, star, or diamond.
About the Negroni Sbagliato
The Negroni Sbagliato deviates from the classic Negroni by omitting the gin. The classic form of this cocktail first appeared in 1919 when a count was looking for a stronger Americano. After understandably falling head over heels in love with the flavor, his family started a distillery specializing in Negronis. The popularity of the Negroni inevitably grew over the years, spurred on by a journalist who spread the news of the formerly little-known cocktail to the world.
Instead of the juniper gin notes, the Negroni Sbagliato turns to a sparkling wine, preferably Italian, as the base spirit. With a similar feel to the Aperol spritz, the Sbagliato has a far more bitter flavor but is the happy medium of the two. Unlike other Negronis, the Negroni Sbagliato has several acceptable ways to enjoy. Like the classic, the Sbagliato is often served on the rocks, but it's also possible to serve in a Champagne flute, to highlight the sparkling wine bubbles. The Sbagliato also has the ability to serve in large batches by double the recipes and creating a hybrid Negroni punch.
Incorrect? Absolutely Not
The translation of Negroni Sbagliato might be "wrong Negroni" but there's nothing wrong with this drink. As a matter of fact, it is so right. Hop over your Aperol spritz and scoot past your regular Negroni in favor of this fizzy delight.