If you've watched the video so many times that you find yourself getting thirsty—and wondering what this mysterious and magical-sounding Negroni Sbagliato is all about—we can relate. Great news for anyone participating in sober October or those of us who would prefer to sip on a nonalcoholic version of the drink: We have four delicious mixologist-designed Negroni Sbagliato mocktail recipes on tap that taste just as good as D’Arcy’s favorite drink sounds. Cheers much?
4 easy ways to make a Negroni Sbagliato mocktail recipe, according to mixologists
1. Verjus + pomegranate + flavored soda water
According to Simon Sebbah, the beverage director at The Lambs Club and Grand Tour Hospitality, you can make a nonalcoholic version of the drink with just three ingredients. The original Sbagliato (which is Italian for “mistake”) was created by a Milanese bartender, Mirko Sotcchetti, that accidentally used sparkling wine instead of gin when making a Negroni (which is typically made of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari and garnished with orange peel).
In Sebbah’s rendition of the drink, he uses three nonalcoholic ingredient swaps that hit the mark on the three main components of a Sbagliato: something bitter, sweet, and bubbly. “For a nonalcoholic version of a Sbagliato, I use verjus [the pressed juice of unripened grapes] as my bitter, pomegranate as my sweet component, and top it with something fun, [like] flavored soda water, or a very bubbly tonic water,” Sebbah says. For a more aromatic flavor profile, he says you can also use non-alcoholic white wine topped with elderflower soda water.
2. Non-alcoholic aperitif + simple syrup + tonic water
For Noah Manskar, the beverage director of Colonia Verde, the perfect booze-free Negroni Sbagliato is made with flavor-packed non-alcoholic aperitifs. "There's been an explosion of non-alcoholic aperitifs that make it super easy to make a spirit-free Negroni Sbagliato at home. They provide the bright, herbal flavors that Campari is known for without the booze—or the intense bitterness that turns some drinkers off to the signature Negroni aperitivo,” Manskar says.
“Our favorite at Colonia Verde is Figlia, which contains a lovely balance of citrus, floral and warm spice notes,” he adds. It’s made with ingredients like rose, bitter orange, and clove and retails for about $43 per bottle. “From there, I would add a bit of spiced simple syrup, also very easy to make at home. Just bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan along with your spice of choice—cloves, cinnamon, or pink peppercorns are all great options,” says Manskar.
Lastly, the drink wouldn’t be complete without something sparkling. “The final key piece is the bubbles. Tonic water is my go-to because it lends a bitterness that cuts through the sweetness of the other ingredients. But you could also go with a dry, alcohol-free cider to mimic the prosecco flavors,” Manskar says.
At Colonia Verde, their spirit-free take on a Negroni Sbagliato is called the “Libroni,” and it’s made with 2.5 ounces (five tablespoons) of Figlia and one ounce (two tablespoons) of pink peppercorn syrup in a mixing glass garnished with some fresh orange peels, and served on the rocks topped with tonic. “It's easy-drinking, sophisticated, and just as stunning as Emma D'Arcy's boozy favorite," Manskar says.
3. Non-alcoholic Negroni mix + non-alcoholic sparkling wine
Wilmer Nolasco, the head bartender at Leroy's, uses just two ingredients to make a Negroni Sbagliato dupe. "When keeping the booze-free spirit crowd in mind, I like to always keep a simple drink simple. The way I do a Negroni Sbagliato mocktail is by putting together these two delicious products: The first is St. Agrestis' Phony Negroni, which is my favorite of the premade Negroni facsimiles available on the market,” Nolasco says. Then he combines that with one of his favorite non-alcoholic sparkling wines from Wölffer Estate, the Spring In A Bottle rosé sparkling wine.
4. Bitter Italian soda + non-alcoholic sparkling wine
To make a Negroni Sbagliato mocktail, Jan Brown, the bar manager of Faccia a Faccia, adapts the “Non-Americano” mocktail that's already on the restaurant’s menu. “We incorporate an Italian soda called ‘Sanbitter,’ which is made by San Pellegrino. It is bitter and delightfully refreshing. To make it a Sbagliato, one could simply substitute the sparkling water in our drink with a non-alcoholic sparkling wine, which are becoming more and more popular,” says Brown. You can find Sanbitter available on Amazon for $25 for a pack of 10.
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