By Nicole Quy, Co-Editor in Chief
The Croft Magazine// Contrary to what Emma D’Arcy and their co-star Olivia Cooke might have us believe, the negroni, let alone sbagliatto, seems not to be the drink of choice for many. After the soundbite of D’Arcy detailing her favourite cocktail began to increase notoriety, there naturally followed a peak in interest for this timeless classic, but it was surprising to see just how many people were unaware of the drink, and even more so how many were unapproving, or at least unexpecting, of the Negroni’s punch.
For myself, like D’Arcy, the negroni will always be my go-to. It very rarely misses the mark and when done well, it comes together to create the perfect harmony of citrus, bitterness, and an earthy, herbaceous undertone. Providing a break from sweeter cocktails, the smooth, boldness of the negroni offers something palatable and highly sophisticated. This is not, of course, to discredit other cocktails, sometimes nothing will suffice quite like the tropical creaminess of a pina colada, but I have very rarely found myself in a drinking scenario where a Negroni didn’t seem like the right choice.
Certainly, it packs a punch, something which I was pleasantly reminded of upon ordering last week to be met with a fairly patronising, “Yeah? That’s a drink drink, by the way”. Ostensibly unbeknownst to me, perhaps the negroni has gained a reputation for being so strong that venues feel the need to reiterate its alcoholic content twice? Something to muse on. In fairness, many of my friends have commented that they tried a Negroni for the first time after hearing about it via TikTok, only to be, excuse the pun, bitterly disappointed at the drink’s fairly unforgiving nature. I would contend that the piquant of the original negroni is the culprit here, unsurprising given that it comprises quite literally purely of alcohol, and so making a point to specify sbagliatto may favour well for those who tend to stay away from heavier drinks.
Sbalgiatto, quite literally translating to ‘mistaken’, is a variation on the classic which utilises prosecco in place of gin (and, yes, this does mean that D’Arcy’s specification of a sbagliatto with prosecco in it, if we are to be pedantic, is actually redundant- but oh, well; it sounds sultry enough when she says it). The effervescence from the Prosecco results in a lighter, bubblier version of the drink with slightly less of an edge, perfect for those who still want to indulge in something a little less sickly, but find the combination of gin, vermouth and Campari a little too much.
Whilst my loyalties will always lie with the Negroni in its unaltered form, and I, for one, believe that the current hype around the drink is truly deserved, it is understandable why, for some, the notion that the acquired taste of this Italian classic could be one’s “drink of choice” is a little perplexing.
If you’ve yet to try, or simply want to get your fill in, there are multiple places in Bristol to get a great Negroni- let’s not forget that earlier this year city-favourite Rock Salt set a new record for the World’s largest Negroni at 600 litres- Hyde & Co and The Milk Thistle are two of my favourites, but you will likely find that most cocktail venues will have a Negroni on the menu, with many more than happy to adapt this to a sbagliatto. For a more adventurous take on the classic, try The Milk Thistle’s ‘Sweet Vengeance’, substituting citrus for raspberry and adding an additional dimension of cocoa, or Bar 44’s Padron Negroni, made from Padron pepper infused Campari, and a vermouth packed with spices known as La Copa vermut Rojo.
Featured Image By Emily Fromant
What's your drink of choice?