Being Italian, I appreciate and live by the concept of an Aperitivo, as a taste that opens the palette before the flavors and tastes from ones dinner are consumed. The Negroni Sbagliato has been my go to cocktail since the age of 19 when it comes to Aperitivo’s. I was first introduced to the cocktail by one of my good bartender friends, Luca who worked at a Café called Il Porto in a little town in Italy’s Lake Maggiore called Feriolo. A great balance of bitter and sweet, it wakes up your senses before the primary meal. The Negroni Sbagliato is a spin off of the classic Italian cocktail, Negroni, that is 1/3 Dry Gin, 1/3 Bitter Campari and 1/3 Red Sweet Vermouth served on the rocks and stirred in a classic old fashioned glass with a half sliced orange peel. The drink was invented in one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, Florence, where Count Camillo Negroni requested that an Americano have a stronger taste. The bartender added Gin giving birth to the Negroni. Now a days the Negroni is less of an exclusive and secret cocktail than it once was, but the Negroni Sbagliato remains an inside secret only known to the true aficionados of the Negroni.
The Negroni Sbagliato on the other hand is lighter and made with Prosecco instead of gin. The story of the Negroni Sbagliato or “Accidental Negroni” is that a bartender in Milano at Bar Basso accidentally grabbed Prosecco instead of Gin. Instead of sending back the wrong or sbagliato cocktail, the guest approved of the taste and the Negroni Sbagliato was born.
Before you shy away from trying the Negroni or the lighter version Negroni Sbagliato, know this. In Milano, there is a saying, “One must drink Campari three times before it can really be appreciated.” If you want to get a taste of this exclusive and secret cocktail known to few but to the most elite of people, go to your nearest high-end bar and order yourself a Negroni or Sbagliato.