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Strawberry Negroni Sbagliato

Negroni Week is here, so let’s celebrate with a fun twist on the Negroni Sbagliato! The Negroni Sbagliato is a classic Italian cocktail combining bittersweet Campari with sweet vermouth and prosecco.

a hand with bright red nails holding a stemless wine glass filled with a red cocktail.

This lighter take on the classic Negroni replaces the fortifying gin with a couple ounces of sparkling wine. My upgraded version infuses the Campari with fresh strawberries for an even more flavorful and summery aperitivo. This Strawberry Negroni Sbagliato is fruity, bittersweet, herbal, and effervescent. The bubbles from the sparkling wine make it a refreshing treat on these warm late summer days.

Origins of the “mistaken Negroni”

The classic Negroni dates back to the early 1900s, but this bubbly variation was invented accidentally in the 1980s. The story goes that a distracted Italian bartender named Mirko Stocchetti mistakenly added sparkling wine, rather than gin, to the Negroni he was making. The resulting drink was a delicious, slightly lighter alternative to the original, and so it was dubbed the Negroni “Sbagliato” (Italian for mistake).

a bright red drink in a stemless wine glass with a strawberry and orange slice.

How do you pronounce ‘Sbagliato’?

For years, I walked around calling this modern classic the “ss-bag-lee-ah-toh”. But recently I’ve learned that the correct pronunciation is “spal-yacht-oh,” which frankly sounds a heck of a lot nicer. However you pronounce it, the Negroni Sbagliato is a wonderfully bittersweet cocktail that will be a welcomed serve any time of day – from brunch to aperitivo to after dinner.

What’s the difference between the Negroni, Sbagliato, and Americano?

These three classics all have bittersweet Campari and herbal sweet vermouth in common. The classic Negroni is an equal parts mix of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, while the Negroni Sbagliato replaces the gin with sparkling wine (usually prosecco).

pouring sparkling wine into a red cocktail in a stemless wine glass.

The Americano is a lighter, lower ABV cocktail that is equal parts sweet vermouth and Campari topped with sparkling water. The Americano is the Negroni’s predecessor, having been around since the 1860s. It was originally known as the Milano-Torino, referencing Campari from Milan and red sweet vermouth from Torino. Apparently the drink became very popular with American tourists, leading to its modern name.

How to make Strawberry Campari

Strawberry Campari is a summer staple in my home bar. You can use it in just about any cocktail that calls for the bittersweet liqueur, and it will only make the drink more delightful. However, if you don’t want all of your Campari infused with strawberries, there’s no need to infuse an entire bottle.

Liquor (and liqueur) infusions are a bit more art than science, so no exact measurements are required. If you decide you want it more or less flavorful, you can always adjust how much fruit or liqueur you use, or adjust how long the mixture infuses for. Here’s the “recipe” I use for making strawberry-infused Campari:

  • Wash and roughly chop enough strawberries to fill a mason jar about half way. I leave some berries whole (just the tops removed) so that I can use them for garnishes. You can use all whole, hulled berries, it just will take a little longer to get a strongly flavored infusion.
  • Next, pour Campari over the berries, filling the jar to within an inch of the rim.
  • Screw on the lid and give the jar a gentle shake. Now, set the jar aside (some place cool, dry and out of direct sunlight) and let it infuse for at least 24 hours. I think it’s usually perfect after two days.
  • Strain or scoop out the berries and reserve the liquid. I keep the berries too – they make for insanely good cocktail hour snacking if you’re a Campari fan, and they also make a nice garnish.
  • Store your infused Campari in a covered container. I like to store mine in the fridge for maximum shelf life.

You may also enjoy these other cocktail recipes:

a red drink in a stemless wine glass with orange slice and strawberry.
a red drink in a stemless wine glass with orange slice and strawberry.

Strawberry Negroni Sbagliato

Amy Traynor
This fruity variation on the Negroni Sbagliato uses strawberry-infused Campari for a summery twist on the modern classic cocktail.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 3 mins
Total Time 3 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail

Ingredients
  

  • 1 oz strawberry-infused Campari (see Notes below)
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 oz dry sparkling wine (such as prosecco or cava)

Instructions
 

  • Fill a double rocks or stemless wine glass with ice.
  • Pour the strawberry-infused Campari and sweet vermouth over the ice and stir to chill.
  • Top with a couple ounces of sparkling wine. Stir gently and garnish with a strawberry and an orange slice.

Notes

Strawberry-Infused Campari
Ingredients:
  • Strawberries, about half a carton
  • Campari, 1-2 cups
Instructions:
  • Wash and roughly chop enough strawberries to fill a mason jar about half way. I leave some berries whole (just the tops removed) so that I can use them for garnishes. You can use all whole, hulled berries, it just will take a little longer to get a strongly flavored infusion.
  • Next, pour Campari over the berries, filling the jar to within an inch of the rim.
  • Screw on the lid and give the jar a gentle shake. Now, set the jar aside (some place cool, dry and out of direct sunlight) and let it infuse for at least 24 hours. I think it’s usually perfect after two days.
  • Strain or scoop out the berries and reserve the liquid. I keep the berries too – they make for insanely good cocktail hour snacking if you’re a Campari fan, and they also make a nice garnish.
  • Store the infused Campari in a covered container. I like to store mine in the fridge for maximum shelf life.
Keyword Campari, Negroni, negroni sbagliato, prosecco, sparkling wine, strawberries
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