It’s the cocktail in the mouth that has taken the Internet by storm: the negroni sbagliato with prosecco in it. From a clip of Dragon House stars Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy discussing their favorite drinks have gone viral, people can’t stop obsessing over the negroni sbagliato – or rather, how D’Arcy orders the drink with their raspy voices.
Now, cocktail bars around the world are sourcing the ingredients to make the viral drink, which includes Campari, sweet vermouth and sparkling wine instead of traditional gin. But there’s one key factor in a negroni that people seem to forget: Campari is an acquired taste.
For the uninitiated, Campari is a bitter Italian liqueur, often considered an aperitif for its mixture of herbs and fruits. Its bright red color is misleading and often confused with Aperol, a much sweeter liqueur. On the contrary, Campari has a strong bitter taste with citrus notes and a breathtaking alcohol content: from 20.5% to 28% ABV.
Campari – which was invented in 1860 by Gaspare Campari in Novara, Italy – can be drunk on its own or over ice, but is best known for use in classic cocktails like negroni and Americano. For those wary of the bittersweet taste of Campari, or who have simply sworn to it, there are plenty of cocktail creations that capture the appeal of a sbagliato negroni, without actually using Campari.
Here is a list of seven cocktails that, just like Olivia Cooke, will have you saying, “Oh, gorgeous!
The difference between a Negroni and a Negroni bianco is mainly in the name. Instead of the blood orange color of the classic Negroni, a bianco Negroni swaps the Campari for a bianco vermouth and adds an aperitif to the white wine. To make a white Negroni, mix equal parts dry gin, Italian white vermouth — like Luxardo’s Carpano Bianco or Bitter Bianco — and a white wine aperitif, like Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano.
An Aperol Negroni, sometimes called Contessa, is a much lighter and sweeter version of the traditional Negroni. It uses Aperol instead of Campari and is very easy to make, using only gin, sweet vermouth and Aperol with a slice of orange to garnish.
Count Mast Negroni
Jägermeister created their own version of the Negroni, called the Count Mast cocktail. The drink calls for equal parts Jägermeister, gin, and sweet vermouth for a grassy, licorice-scented aroma with less bitterness and more body.
Cynar Negroni is a variation of the classic Negroni, using an Italian amari known as Cynar. Surprisingly, the main ingredient found in Cynar is artichoke. But its dark brown color is offset by its bittersweet flavor. To make a Cynar Negroni, combine equal parts Cynar, gin, and sweet vermouth.
Instead of Campari, the MonteNegroni is made from Amaro Montenegro. Amaro Montenegro is a traditional Italian amaro or bitter liqueur invented in 1895 from a secret blend of 40 different herbs, fruits and plants. The MonteNegroni calls for two parts Amaro Montenegro, one part sweet vermouth, one part gin and two drops of bitter angostura.
Supposedly dating back to Rome in the 1950s, the Cardinale cocktail is a descendant of the Negroni. This dry drink swaps Campari for Contratto Bitter and sweet vermouth for dry vermouth. The recipe also changes the drink ratio. The Cardinale cocktail is made up of one ounce of gin, 3/4 ounce of Contratto Bitter and 3/4 ounce of dry vermouth.
Aperitivo Cappelletti is one of the best-known Campari substitutes. This appetizer is somewhat similar in color and bitterness to Campari. However, it leans towards the sweeter side, which is why it’s often used in a spritz. If Campari is too much for your taste, try replacing it with Cappelletti in your next Negroni Sbagliato.