I made ‘House of the Dragon’ star Emma D’Arcy’s viral negroni sbagliato

Is a “Negroni … sbagliato … with Prosecco in it" as iconic of a queer drink as iced coffee?

Has there ever been a phrase as sexy, as sultry and as intimate as “negroni … sbagliato … with Prosecco in it”?

If you’re queer and on the internet this week, you’d be hard pressed to think of a hornier cocktail. The viral drink became the talk of the gays over the weekend, thanks to a clip from a cast interview with House of the Dragon’s Emma D’Arcy. 

Do I watch House of the Dragon? No. Do I particularly care about anything related to House of the Dragon other than this? No. But do I love both cocktails and queer people? You better believe it!

Us queers have long identified various beverages as inarguably queer. A formative time in my young gay life was hanging out with a cool older lesbian, watching her order an IPA at the bar and deciding that I had to start drinking IPAs (a habit that has stuck with me in the decade since). Of course, certain cocktails like mimosas are a regular feature at drag brunch. RuPaul’s even pushing his own branded cocktails now. Flavoured seltzer is obviously queer. And I won’t even get started on the death grip that iced coffee has on gay culture as a whole. 

But there’s just something about the way D’Arcy, one of the hottest non-binary stars of the moment, lingers on each word of the phrase that immediately skyrockets the negroni sbagliato into the conversation of the queerest drink of all. It’s not just a negroni! Nor is it simply a negroni sbagliato. No, it’s a negroni [pause] sbagliato [pause, twinkle-in-the eye smile] with Prosecco in it. The internet is rightfully obsessed.

But what is a negroni sbagliato with Prosecco? And does it live up to the hype as the “it girl” of queer beveraginos? Could it unseat iced coffee as our new calling card? And will every queer bar from here to Westeros have to start putting it on their menu?

The next logical step, of course, is to make one myself (in the middle of the workday) and see if the concoction really deserves its recent entry into the queer drink canon. 

Step 1: What is a negroni sbagliato with Prosecco? 

A negroni is an Italian cocktail usually made with one part gin, one part red semi-sweet vermouth rosso and one part Campari. It’s usually served in a rocks glass on ice and garnished with an orange peel.

A negroni sbagliato is the same basic recipe, but with sparkling white wine or Prosecco in place of the gin. Sbagliato means “broken,” and legend has it the drink was created when a bartender accidentally poured Prosecco into a half-made negroni. 

A negroni sbagliato with Prosecco, therefore, is the same thing as negroni sbagliato. Did D’Arcy really need to add that last clause on to their infamous phrase? Not really, but the flair really completes it.

Step 2: Acquire ingredients for negroni sbagliato with Prosecco

The key ingredients for a negroni sbagliato with Prosecco in it.

Credit: Mel Woods/Xtra

As an infrequent home cocktail drinker, I’m not one to just casually have red vermouth or Campari on hand, so I made my way down to our local liquor store at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday to acquire the necessary ingredients.

“What are you making?” the innocent clerk, obviously not cued into gay Twitter, asked.

“Negroni … sbagliato … with Prosecco,” I intoned.

“Oh, fun—is it for a special occasion?”

And that, dear reader, is the moment I decided not to get too deep into horny lesbian Twitter with this liquor store clerk at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday. “Yeah,” I said simply.

“Have fun!” she said. 

And, reader, I did.

Step 3: Make a negroni … sbagliato … with Prosecco in it

To be honest, making a negroni sbagliato is not that hard, a further point in its favour of being an iconic queer drink.


Making the infamous negroni sbagliato with prosecco in it. Campari + vermouth + bubbly = a good time. #cocktails #houseofthedragon #negronisbagliato #queer #nonbinary

♬ About Damn Time – Lizzo

If you want to be fancy and serve it up strained, I’m not stopping you! Me, I opted to serve it on the rocks in a fancy little glass, because something about negroni sbagliato with Prosecco screams fancy little glass. 

Step 4: Indulge

Enjoying a cheeky “noon on a workday” negroni sbagliato with Prosecco in it

Credit: Mel Woods/Xtra

Maybe it’s Emma D’Arcy’s influence, coupled with the collective surge of the queer internet, but I have to say: it’s good. It’s really good. Compared with the bitter gin tang of a classic negroni, the Prosecco adds a fruity, sweet pop to the whole thing. This is juice, and I mean that as the highest compliment.

Step 5: Conclusion 

To be honest, if the negroni sbagliato with Prosecco pops off, this is going to be a nightmare for bartenders at average pubs and bars everywhere. Prosecco is rarely something ordered by the glass at most establishments, and it does not last well night to night. I worked as a bartender for many years, and the idea of popping a bottle of Prosecco just to pour a shot and a half into a negroni does grind my gears.

But also, it is tasty, it is queer and it is iconic. 

Hot tip to any queer bar owners: get this on your cocktail menu ASAP because I doubt the negroni sbagliato is going anywhere. Call it the “Rhaenyra on Me” and every gay will buy it.

Let’s raise a glass to the negroni sbagliato with Prosseco: may she satisfy the gays and live on in infamy. 

Senior editor Mel Woods is an English-speaking Vancouver-based writer and audio producer and a former associate editor with HuffPost Canada. A proud prairie queer and ranch dressing expert, their work has also appeared in Vice, Slate, the Tyee, the CBC, the Globe and Mail and the Walrus.

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