11 Drinks if You Don’t Like a Negroni Sbagliato With Prosecco in It but Still Want To Be Gay

Feature image of Emma D’Arcy via HBOMax TikTok

If you’re any level of “too” online and any type of queer, then you have likely already seen the HBO Max promotional interview that made a splash last week between House of the Dragons co-stars Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke. There is a certain je ne sais queer about the moment that is difficult to explain. Much like a Negroni Sbagliato itself, you either get it or you don’t (and if you don’t — no shame!). Again, much like a Negroni Sbagliato, it’s not everyone’s cup of bizarrely alluring and specific celebrity content.

@hbomax

I’ll take one of each. #houseofthedragon

♬ a negroni sbagliato w prosecco l hbo max – hbomax

While the spell of this video doesn’t quite work on me, I do understand why it has worked on others. Something about the shape of “sbagliato” in their mouth or perhaps the cadence of “with prosecco in it” coupled with the little smirky lean in does have a spellbinding effect.

Perhaps you have already Googled what the fuck a Negroni Sbagliato is. That’s not what we’re here for (but truly, if you want to know, it’s your most basic ass 1:1:1 ratio recipe of equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth, and prosecco).

Maybe you even tried to order a Negroni Sbagliato this past weekend, and maybe you realized a Negroni Sbagliato is not worth the hype. It’s, like, a fine drink? Not disgusting by any means but also nothing really special??? So if you don’t want to order a Negroni Sbagliato with prosecco in it, there are plenty of other stunning drinks you can get your gay little hands on that also have a certain je ne sais queer about them. Here’s what they are, according to my queer cocktail lover expertise.


1. Club soda with half a lemon squeezed in

A cup of seltzer with a lot of lemon squeezed in

I cannot explain it, but this, despite its stark simplicity, is the mocktail version of ordering a Negroni Sbagliato with prosecco in it. Something about the excess of lemon is what pushes it into this territory. Bonus points if you want to add a splash of simple syrup for sweetness.


2. Grasshopper

A grasshopper cocktail

Have you ever thought to yourself “hey, I wish those Andes mints I get with the check at the Olive Garden were a cocktail I could drink,” well, the Grasshopper is for you.


3. Boulevardier

A boulevardier sitting on a bar top

The whole vibe of a Negroni Sbagliato is, like, a Negroni but make it different. (Sbagliato means “broken,” so you’re breaking the Negroni by subbing prosecco for gin.) A Boulevardier is like a Negroni but you sub bourbon or rye whiskey for the gin.


4. Campari soda

A Campari soda

My favorite part of a Negroni is the Campari. The hangup I have a Negroni Sbagliato is that you get a lot less of that bitter Campari taste when you throw in prosecco, which doesn’t meld as well with Campari as gin does imo! Sometimes, I like to just get down to business and have a no-frills Campari soda.


5. Fernet + Coke

A fernet and Coke

AKA a Fernando. Do you by chance WORK at the gay bar?


6. Ramos Gin Fizz

A Ramos gin fizz

Ah, yes, the drink with a notoriously complex shaking method. I once had a bartender make me a Ramos Gin Fizz with foam so tall and stiff that she could insert a straw through the middle and it just stayed there. Gay magic!


7. Corpse Reviver No. 1

A Corpse Reviver No. 1, made with cognac, calvados, sweet vermouth, and an orange twist.

In rare instances, the sequel is more popular than the original, and that’s true of the Corpse Reviver No. 2, which is the much more commonly found drink. You could order the more standard option — much like you could just order a regular degular Negroni — OR, you could go with its less loved sibling, the Corpse Reviver No. 1.


8. Brandy Alexander

A brandy alexander

Indulgent! Has a name that sounds fancy and goofy all at once! This is the creamy, dessert-adjacent equivalent of a Negroni Sbagliato.


9. A vodka martini with an entire lemon squeezed in

Vodka martini with an entire lemon squeezed in

It feels gauche to reveal exactly WHICH ultra famous celesbian orders this drink as her go-to given that I did not find out this information from an interview but rather by hearing her order it multiple times, but I promise you, a beloved celesbian loves this very lemon martini. If you also happen to know any go-to drink orders of famous celesbians, please feel free to allude to them in the comments.


10. Bud Light

Bud Light

Famously, not a cocktail. But this is all part of my masterplan to prove that Bud Light is the dykeiest domestic light beer, an assertion that people love to fight me on, and yet I persevere.


11. I mean, you can just order a Negroni

A negroni

It’s a classic for a reason! Yes, I know as queer people it is our right to put special twists on the norm, but like, a Negroni is good!!!!! If anything, the way I sometimes fuck with it is by adding slightly less vermouth. But I will admit that “Negroni, light vermouth” does not have nearly the same ring to it as Negroni Sbagliato with prosecco in it.

Stunning!


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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Miami. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 458 articles for us.

36 Comments

  1. This is amazing! Kayla, you are a treasure.

    I finally put a planter of mint out on my patio this year and spent all summer drinking gin gin mules – muddled mint, lime juice, simple syrup (I subbed honeysuckle syrup that I had made), gin, and ginger beer. Highly recommend!

  2. I have 90% of a bottle of Campari in the sideboard that I really don’t know what to do with because it’s way too bitter for my tastes. Other than having it on hand for passing negroni-loving queers, I’m really not sure what to do with it… Suggestions welcome!

  3. I do also have a beloved lesbian (and in my book, should-be-celesbian) friend in my life who loves a vodka martini! (she’s also famous for helping me drink my cocktails because, just like with food, my eyes are bigger than my stomach)

  4. I love a Negroni & I love Prosecco…I’m not quite so sure about both of them together but I ought to give it a go! To me they are both pretty classic gay beverages anyway…
    The bitterness of Campari is right in my zone flavor – wise, & my regular Saturday night aperitif while I’m making dinner is Campari & orange juice…bonus points for blood orange juice (when in season) which ups the intensity & adds a fabulous colour.

  5. Negronis are the emperor’s New clothes of cocktails. Sophisticated people like to drink them in their sophisticated lives and no one dares admit that they taste like ear wax (they probably also pretend they don’t know what ear wax tastes like, but they were kids once so definitely do).

    • For the record, I was never a kid that ate ear wax (or boogers! I wiped them on the wall) so I don’t actually know what they taste like.

      But at 3 years old, my mother did find me sitting on the bathroom counter drinking cough syrup (I poured it into the measuring spoon first; I wasn’t a monster). Then at age 6, I used to do shots of red wine vinegar – I’d pour it into the cap, drink it, then lick salt off the palm of my hand (I had never seen anyone do shots – my parents were both teetotalers – and didn’t know you put the salt on the back of your hand. I just knew I liked salt and vinegar chips and there weren’t any in the house).

      In other words: I’ve always liked my drinks bitter, acidic, medicinal. And a negroni is a DELIGHTful medicinal drink. Everyone likes what they like.

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