Equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, the Negroni is as refreshing as it is simple. Which also makes it something of a blank canvas for bartenders who want to put their own mark on the classic. There are about a dozen variations on the Negroni out there, but we think the S’bagliato might be the best. Swapping the gin out for sparkling wine, it pulls back ever so slightly on the alcohol, while the bubbles edge things towards spritz territory.
Story goes that the it was invented when an Italian bartender somehow confused prosecco for gin while making a regular Negroni. He dubbed it the "S’bagliato" – Italian for "mistake" – and decided that it was just as good, if not better, than the drink he'd been trying to make.
Melbourne cocktail bar the Everleigh are world famous for their Negronis. They recently published a cocktail book, A Spot at the Bar, detailing their process. To celebrate the book's launch, we've re-published their Negroni recipe – alongside the S’bagliato variation – for your imbibement.
22 ml gin
30 ml Cocchi sweet vermouth
22 ml Campari
Orange twist, to garnish
Build your ingredients (i.e. add one after the other) in a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
Add a few dashes of absinthe to get one of our personal favourites, the Quill.
Top up your Negroni with a splash of sparkling wine and you’ve got the Famiglia Reale.
Take the gin out completely and replace it with sparkling wine for the low-alcohol, bubbly aperitif Negroni S’bagliato.
This is an edited extract from A Spot at the Bar by Michael Madrusan and Zara Young, published by Hardie Grant. RRP $45.00. Available in stores nationally.