The internet is awash with thirst reactions to actor Emma D’Arcy’s recent interview with co-star Olivia Cooke (watch it here). In it, they share their favourite cocktail – a Negroni Sbagliato – which D’Arcy rakishly says is the one “with prosecco in it”. Here, accomplished bartender and co-owner of Melbourne’s Everleigh, Bar Margaux and Heartbreaker Michael Madrusan shows us how to make one.

I know what you’re thinking. What is this word next to Negroni that looks a little like spaghetti? Sbagliato. Pronounced “spah-li-AH-toh”, it means wrong, messed up or mistaken in Italian.

The drink was created in the ’80s at Bar Basso in Milan and quickly became a modern classic. While making a Negroni, bartender Mirko Stocchetto accidentally added spumante (sparkling wine) instead of gin. This may very well have been an error, but it was also a stroke of genius. The Negroni Sbagliato is a beloved addition to the aperitivo canon and a great example of how a subtle twist can create an unforgettable drink. It’s one of my pre-dinner go-tos.

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Despite its origin, the Sbagliato is more a variation on the beloved Americano than a Negroni in terms of drinking profile. The Americano (which predates the Negroni) omits the gin and adds a charge of soda to Campari and sweet vermouth. The result is a lighter, more refreshing drink. I serve mine with a slice of orange and a meaty Sicilian or Cerignola olive. Negroni lovers, opt for an Americano on a warm day. You’ll thank me.

Now, if you’re familiar with the Americano already, put the Sbagliato on your “what to drink next” list. Its ratio is closer to the Negroni, being near-equal parts, and sees us swapping gin for prosecco or spumante. The result is a richer, more complex variation on the Americano. I suggest you garnish with a fresh slice of lemon, though there’s really no wrong answer.

Negroni Sbagliato by Michael Madrusan
Makes 1 serving.

Ingredients:
45ml Cocchi sweet vermouth
30ml Campari
60ml prosecco or spumante
1 slice lemon, to garnish

Method:
Build ingredients in a wine or spritz glass with ice. Garnish with lemon and enjoy.