Elizabeth Minchilli's Cocktail of the Week

Elizabeth Helman Minchilli knows a thing or two about la dolce vita. So much so, that's she's considered an expert on Italian food, decor, and travel (you know, just to name a few areas of expertise). This American writer has been published many, many times over and authored six gorgeous books on Italy.  She divides her time between a farmhouse in Umbria and an apartment with a view in Rome, and documents it all along with her astonishingly delicious recipes in her blog.

New Year’s Resolution - The Negroni Sbagliato

I believe you should only make New Year’s Resolutions that you have some hope of keeping. Saying I’m going to do yoga everyday isn’t kidding anyone. If I promise myself I’ll do it at least once a week, then when I do manage to work in a couple of extra sessions, then I’ve achieved my goal, and then some.

Dieting usually plays some role on the resolution list. And that means drinking less. Notice I didn’t say ‘completely not drinking.” Not an option. No way.
So, in the cocktail department I try - at least moderately - to lighten things up a bit. I can proudly say that now, a month into the New Year, I’ve managed to keep to this promise.

One of my favorite classic cocktails is a Negroni. That’s equal parts Campari, vermouth and gin. A whammy, I know. But in a good way.

So, my New Year’s resolution was to choose the Negroni Light. Or Sbagliato as it’s called here. Negroni Sbagliato means Mistaken Negroni. And in this case the bartender makes the mistake of switching in a much lighter dose of prosecco in place of the gin. See? It’s kind of like a Weight Watcher’s Negroni (at least that what I’m telling myself.)

One of my new favorite recent purchases was a 12-pack of mini bottles of prosecco I picked up at Metro (the Italian Costco). They are just perfect for making two or three of these drinks without cracking open a full-sized bottle. And while I usually use standard Martini & Rossi Rosso vermouth for a classic Negroni, for the Sbagliato I prefer Rosso Antico, which has a much more pronounced fruity flavor.

Negroni Sbagliato

1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Rosso Antico
2 ounces (more or less) prosecco

Pour Campari and Rosso Antico into a rocks glass. Fill with ice, and top up with Prosecco. Stir gently (you don’t want to make all the bubbles bubble away) and garnish with a slice of orange.

Elizabeth's book Italian Rustic is now in its third printing, as people are clearly ecstatic over delightful details such as how terracotta tiles are made and profiles of Italian artisans. You will want to live in its pages.

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