Hard to believe that the start to summer is but days away.
If you live in the northern half of the nation, my guess is that your weather has continued to disguise itself as winter. It's been rather lovely here in Northern California for the past few months, but I won't rub it in. What I will do is share a way for you to create a summer frame of mind...with my new, favorite cocktail.
Based on the well-known Negroni (typically a mix of Campari, gin, and vermouth with an orange peel garnish) the Negroni Sbagliato, had me from the start, simply with its name...translated from Italian as a Bungled Negroni...a Negroni in error. Highlighted in an article by Frank Bruni in the New York Times last month, he explains that the "error" is the swap of gin in the original Negroni, with a sparkling wine, and as Frank points out..."it's a game changer". The Negroni Sbagliato is meant to have a little extra zip...a little sass.
I mixed the first one up last month on a warmish Saturday evening after a long day spent in the garden, doing the most unglamorous work of weeding. One sip of this gorgeous sunset red, effervescent cocktail and I felt transported straight into summer. Indeed...I was refreshed and zippier myself.
Nothing wrong with that.
(pronounced sbahl-YAH-toe...after a couple of these it will roll right off your tongue with ease)
NOTE: I made a couple tweaks to the recipe in the Times, but I strongly encourage you to invest in a bottle of Carpano Antica vermouth. I found it at my local wine store and it seems widely available in larger liquor stores. Originally created by Antonio Carpano, the Italian who invented vermouth, it's a red wine vermouth made from his 1786 recipe and it is exceptionally tasty.
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine:
1.5 oz Campari
1.5 oz Carpano Antica vermouth**
Shake well and strain into a glass.
Squeeze juice from a slice of orange and then add it to the glass.
1.5 oz of prosecco
Stir again and enjoy.