Cocktail hour: Sbagliato

We’re calling it now: the name of this drink will be on everyone’s lips in the near future. Assuming they can pronounce it of course.

Sbagliato is Italian for ‘mistake’.

Legend has it that it originates with a busy bartender accidentally finishing off a Negroni with sparkling wine instead of gin.

The Negroni is the drink du jour in the UK right now: a potent blend of gin, red vermouth and bitter liquer (most commonly Campari). Even though it’s one of the easiest cocktails to make, it remains to be seen whether it catches on universally. When we were in Florence last Spring, our tour guide recommended a Negroni to us. He was crestfallen when we informed him we were already fans, that it was no longer secret knowledge.

But has the Negroni’s popularity already peaked?

What might prevent the Negroni becoming even better known is its strength. It’s not a drink to be messed with. It’s definitely meant to be sipped. And like with a Martini, you are signing yourself up for a sore head if you order more than three in succession.

And that’s why the Sbagliato might become ubiquitous. It’s simply less strong than a Negroni, but (arguably) just as delicious. And it’s just as easy to make.

Here’s our recipe:

1 measure red vermouth. We use Martini Rubino. Supermarket alternative: Martini Rosso

1 measure bitter liqeur. We use Martini Bitter 1872. Supermarket alternative: Campari

1 measure dry sparkling wine. We prefer a good dry rosé to prosecco but why not experiment?

Stir in a suitable glass with a large ice cube. We prefer a coupe glass.

It’s impossible to get wrong and it will taste delicious every time. So hooray for the Sbagliato. If only all mistakes turned out this well.