It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single drinker in possession of an educated palate must be in want of a Negroni.
With apologies to Jane Austen for bending the first line of Pride and Prejudice to my own ends, I submit that the Negroni, that tripartite elixir of Campari, sweet vermouth and gin, is as beloved by refined drinkers as Mr. Darcy is by Austenites. But just as they occasionally need to leave the reservation and flirt with a Col. Brandon or a Mr. Knightley, now and again a Negroni fan wishes for a variation on the theme – and of that there are many.
In this column I've covered three of the best-known – the Boulevardier, the Old Pal and the Americano – and this month I'll take on another, the Negroni Sbagliato. "Sbagliato" is Italian for "broken" or "messed up," a feeling I think many of us can identify with these days, no? The story is that the mistake that inspired the name was when a bartender reached for prosecco instead of gin and ended up inventing a new drink. This reads like patent nonsense to me; how could you mistake a sparkling wine bottle for a gin bottle?
But no matter. It's a pleasant summer sip, if slightly austere. This Remix ups the sweetness and juiciness by swapping in sparkling rosé for the prosecco and adding some ruby-red grapefruit. Don't sweat the quality of the wine too much – you don't want to use anything gag-inducing, but it's pointless to spend $$$$ on a wine and then dump liquor into it. And as always, use fresh-squeezed juice or just don't bother.
1 1/2 ounces Campari
1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
1 1/2 ounces prosecco
Add Campari and vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir to combine and chill. Strain into flute glass and top with prosecco. Garnish with orange peel.
2 teaspoons fresh grapefruit juice
2 ounces Campari
2 ounces sweet vermouth
2 ounces sparkling rosé
Add juice, Campari and vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir gently to combine/chill. Strain into a flute and top with rosé. Garnish with grapefruit peel.