Negroni Sbagliato

Imagine this: you’re perched on a sun-drenched terrace overlooking the shimmering expanse of Lake Como, Italy. Laughter mingles with the gentle clinking of glasses, and in your hand, a vibrant orange concoction promises a refreshing escape from the summer heat. This, my friends, is the magic of the Negroni Sbagliato, a cocktail born from a happy mistake that has become a beloved Italian classic.

Photo of the Negroni Sbagliato recipe from Bellavista in Brunate

Our first encounter with this accidental masterpiece was at the renowned Bellavista Restaurant on Lake Como. As we gazed at the breathtaking panorama, the waiter suggested a “Negroni Sbagliato,” a name that piqued our curiosity. One sip, and we were hooked. The familiar Negroni base – gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth – was transformed by a sparkling twist, resulting in a lighter, effervescent, and utterly delightful drink.

Photo of Bellavista Ristorante in Brunate Italy

But what exactly is a Negroni Sbagliato, and how can you recreate this Italian icon in your own home? Buckle up, cocktail enthusiasts, because we’re about to embark on a journey of sbagliato bliss!

A Serendipitous Origin: The Birth of the Sbagliato

Legend has it that in 1968, at Milan’s legendary Bar Basso, a bartender named Mirko Stocchetti accidentally grabbed Prosecco instead of gin while crafting a Negroni for a regular customer. Embracing the error, he served the sparkling creation, and the “Sbagliato” (meaning “mistaken”) was born. Who knew a mistake could lead to such a delightful outcome?

The Essence of Simplicity: Ingredients and Ratios

The beauty of the Negroni Sbagliato lies in its simplicity. All you need are three key ingredients:

  • Gin: Opt for a London dry gin with a strong juniper presence for a classic flavor profile.
  • Campari: This bittersweet aperitif is the heart and soul of the drink. Its bitter orange notes perfectly complement the gin and Prosecco.
  • Prosecco: This Italian sparkling wine adds a touch of sweetness and effervescence, making the Sbagliato lighter and more refreshing than its Negroni counterpart.

The Golden Ratio:

While some prefer a stronger Campari presence, the traditional Sbagliato follows a 1:1:1 ratio:

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce Prosecco

Feel free to adjust this ratio to your taste preference!

Shaken, Not Stirred: Crafting Your Sbagliato Masterpiece

Now, let’s get mixing! Contrary to its Negroni cousin, the Sbagliato is traditionally built directly in the glass:

  1. Fill a chilled glass with ice.
  2. Add your gin and Campari.
  3. Gently stir to combine.
  4. Top with your chilled Prosecco.
  5. Garnish with an orange peel for a touch of elegance (optional).

Beyond the Basics: Exploring Sbagliato Variations

This recipe is just the starting point for your Sbagliato adventures! Here are some ideas to personalize your experience:

  • Fruity Twist: Muddle fresh berries or citrus fruits into the glass for a touch of sweetness and summery vibes.
  • Herb Haven: Add a sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme for a subtle herbal aroma.
  • Spicy Kick: If you like it hot, add a dash of Aperol or a splash of chili oil for a fiery twist.
  • Deluxe Delight: Drizzle your Sbagliato with a touch of Lillet Blanc for a sophisticated touch.

Pro Tips for Sbagliato Perfection:

  • Use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor. Freshly squeezed orange peel adds an extra zing.
  • Chill your glass beforehand to keep your Sbagliato refreshingly cold.
  • Pour the Prosecco slowly to avoid fizzing over.
  • Enjoy your Sbagliato immediately – the bubbles won’t last forever!

The Negroni Sbagliato is more than just a cocktail; it’s an embodiment of Italian joie de vivre. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most delightful discoveries come from unexpected twists. So, gather your ingredients, raise a glass to happy accidents, and let the magic of the Sbagliato transport you to a sun-drenched Italian piazza, even if it’s just for a moment.

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Photo of the Negroni Sbagliato recipe from Bellavista in Brunate

Negroni Sbagliato

Recipe by Jason Hill –
We had the opportunity to sample this refreshing cocktail in Lake Como this summer. The word "sbagliato" translates to "mistake" in the Italian language. It's the perfect blend between a Campari Spritz and a Negroni!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1


  • 4 ounces Cinzano Prosecco D.O.C. or other sparkling white wine
  • 1 ounce 1757 Vermouth di Torino Rosso sweet vermouth
  • ½ ounce Campari
  • Seltzer or Club Soda
  • Lime wheel for serving


  • Add Prosecco to a large glass filled with ice.
  • Add vermouth and Campari.
  • Top off with the seltzer.
  • Stir gently and garnish with a lime wheel.
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Keyword cocktails, Italy
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AboutJason Hill

Hi, I’m Jason Hill, host of YouTube’s “Chef Tips” series. I graduated from culinary school in 1998, and gained my experience working the lines in Southern California. I launched my cooking videos in 2007. I love sharing quick and easy recipes that get people back in the kitchen.

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