When Daniella Lauricella – head sommelier of Uccello – was 18, she moved to Italy. She was working in a not-for-profit kitchen when one day the chef handed her a ruby-coloured drink. “I had no idea what it was,” she says. “I just fell in love with the flavour.”
That was her first Campari and soda – the first on the way to a future career as a sommelier. “Back then I didn’t even drink wine,” she says. “Campari was my go-to.”
Though not yet a sommelier, the complexity of Campari intrigued Lauricella. She enjoyed how it served a function prior to an Italian meal. “It's great to start the meal with something a bit bitter and acidic to open up the palate,” she says.
Lauricella says due to the rising trend in cocktails in Australia, we’re adopting a similar culture to the Italians by choosing a specific drink to bookend meals. Currently, a popular choice is a Negroni – made with equal measures of Campari, red vermouth and gin. “A Negroni is so versatile you can enjoy it with just about anything,” she says. “I really love it with Uccello’s baby octopus that has some chilli and paprika in the dish. It gives the Negroni a whole new profile on the palate.”
Uccello’s specialty is the Sbagliato, a lesser known cocktail that was invented by accident. The rather hazy story goes that sometime early last century, a Milanese bartender was making a Negroni when he reached for the gin and picked up prosecco instead. It was dubbed the “Negroni mistake”, or in Italian the Negroni sbagliato.
At Uccello they twist the classic recipe – prosecco, vermouth and Campari – by adding mandarin and lemon juice. This concoction is called, the Milano Sbagliato. “We replace the vermouth with fresh citrus to make it a bit lighter in style,” says Lauricella.
Here’s how to make the Negroni and the Milano Sbagliato at home.
Makes 1 serve. Approx. 1.4 standard drinks.
20ml mandarin juice
10ml lemon juice
15ml sugar syrup
Shake all ingredients (except prosecco) and fine strain into glass. Top with prosecco and garnish with pink grapefruit zest.
Makes 1 serve. Approx. 2 standard drinks.
30ml red vermouth
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass and strain over block of ice. Garnish with orange zest.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Campari. For the perfect Negroni or Milano Sbagliato, visit Campari Red Nights at the Ivy precinct from 21 September – 12 October. More details here. Please drink responsibly.