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The Negroni Sbagliato Shines the Spotlight on Why Low-ABV Cocktails Are Great

“A Negroni [dramatic pause] sbagliato [dramatic pause] with prosecco in it”

Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

This month the Negroni sbagliato cocktail is taking a whirlwind spin around the internet as the latest hot food and beverage trend. You’ve likely seen the TikTok, memes, or read about the viral TikTok where HBO House of the Dragon stars Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke chat about their favorite cocktails during a promotional interview for the Game of Thrones prequel.

D’Arcy’s now viral reply to Cooke’s cocktail question, “A Negroni [dramatic pause] sbagliato [dramatic pause] with prosecco in it.” Stunning.

Why all the viral fuss? It’s all in the delivery. D’Arcy’s voice is, well, quite seductive. So seductive, in fact, the cocktail jumped in popularity by 501 percent over the last week, according to trade publication The Spirits Business. Somebody hire D’Arcy to sell prosecco stat. But, D’Arcy’s reply is a tad redundant. Prosecco is generally one of the three ingredients in a Negroni sbagliato, simply referred to as a Sbagliato.

It’s quite exhausting to keep track of the mostly boring food and drink trends swirling around social media these days. Many I simply ignore because they’re gone in a flash or are pretty dumb (see NyQuil chicken). But for those of us who are enthusiasts of that low-ABV drink life, I’m a fan of this viral vid and of the Sbagliato. While I have mad love for the martini, I also regularly sip lower proof drinks like the reverse Manhattan, Adonis, and Bamboo. All are easy to make and easy to drink, yet feature flavor complexity. You should seek these out, too.

Let’s break down the difference between a Negroni and a Sbagliato (Yes, it’s a real cocktail.) “Sbagliato” translates to “mistaken” or “incorrect” and for me, at least, this cocktail leans more toward an Americano or spritz rather than a Negroni. And I’m not alone in thinking that.

A Negroni traditionally comprises equal parts Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth. Some bartenders up the gin another half an ounce. It’s then garnished with an orange peel. The average ABV (alcohol by volume) on the cocktail is approximately 24 percent. By no means the booziest of cocktails. The Sbagliato swaps out the gin for prosecco (or any dry sparkling wine), which tops the drink, and is garnished with an orange peel. It averages around 13 percent ABV. The Americano is typically equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth, but it’s topped with soda water and garnished with an orange slice. The cocktail hovers around nine percent ABV. Both the Sbagliato and Americano are equal to drinking a glass of wine, with the former closer to the ABV of rose, barbera, or Champagne.

So where can you find the Sbagliato in Atlanta? Most bars can whip this one up pretty quickly, as the cocktail is in many a bartender’s repertoire and the ingredients for it are usually close at hand behind the bar. H&F Bottle Shop in Buckhead went the extra mile for people looking to make the Sbagliato at home, creating a cocktail kit with all the necessary ingredients, including a petite bottle of prosecco in it.

And for those who might have missed it because they were too focused on D’Arcy’s breathless response to the cocktail question, Cooke’s favorite drink is a martini. My follow up question as a frequent drinker of this classic, “How do you take it?” because every martini drinker knows that’s the real question.

H&F Bottle Shop

2357 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30305 (404) 841-4070