Bitter can mean a bunch of different things. There are levels to it. Leaving a guy at the altar will probably make him more bitter than not returning his text. You would be more bitter at a house sitter who let your dog run away than one who left a light on.
Same goes for bitter cocktails. Each one comes with its own level of intensity. Some have a subtle hint while others pack a bite that can leave you puckering. That extreme variety is what
makes bitter such a tantalizing flavor.
What you need to figure out is: How bitter can you go?
The only way to know for certain is to sample the best in bitter cocktails, with levels ranging from mild annoyance to lifelong grudge. The beauty is you can make them all with irresistible and versatile Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur.
These are six outstanding bitter cocktails, scaled from mildly bitter (Turned Down at the Bar) to medium bitterness (Stood Up for a Date) to the bitterest of them all (Left at the Altar).
Bitterness level: This is bitter for beginners. That’s not taking anything away from this
Tiki-inspired recipe. Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur does an excellent job of
balancing the sweet, citrusy flavors from the lime, pineapple juice and simple syrup. But the
bitterness plays more of a supporting role here.
How to make it: You need 1 1/2 oz Bacardí Black rum, 1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale
Bitter Liqueur, 1 1/2 oz pineapple juice, 3/4 oz lime juice and 3/4 oz simple syrup. Combine all
those ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until it’s ice-cold and pour into an ice-filled Collins
glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice and enjoy.
Bitterness level: There’s little more bite, but the Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur
is still a complementary piece. It’s elevating some quality English gin—hence the name—and
prosecco, also made by Martini & Rossi. This cocktail is complex and bubbly and features just
enough bitterness to intrigue.
How to make it: Take 1 oz Oxley gin, 1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur, 1
oz lemon sour and 3 oz Martini & Rossi prosecco. Combine all the ingredients in a wine glass
filled with ice and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.
Bitterness level: This cocktail features prosecco, much like the Mind the Gap. But here the
bitterness is as prominent as the bubbles. No spritz cocktail is complete without some bitter, and this delicious recipe clears that bar with room to spare.
How to make it: Combine 1 oz Grey Goose vodka, 1 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter
Liqueur, 2 oz Martini & Rossi prosecco and 2 oz soda water in a large wine glass with ice. Garnish with raspberries.
Bitterness level: Similar to the Jungle Bird, this cocktail is made with rum and citrusy flavors. So if you liked that cocktail but were left thinking you could stand to get a little more bitter, this is the cocktail for you.
How to make it: Add 1 1/2 oz Bacardí gold rum, 1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur, 2 oz lemonade and 2 oz pineapple juice to an ice-filled Collins glass. Slice some
strawberries for the garnish.
Bitterness level: Congratulations, you’re getting closer to maximum bitterness! The Selfie in
Caracas is as strong as it is bitter, since it’s just a mix of rum, vermouth and dependable Martini
& Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur. It’s not for the faint of heart, because of both its
bitterness and strength.
How to make it: Combine 1 1/2 oz Santa Teresa rum, 1 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale
Bitter Liqueur and 1 oz Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth in a mixing glass over ice. Pour into a
rocks glass. No need to add a garnish.
Bitterness level: The Negroni is, and always has been, the king of bitter cocktails. Where else
could this journey end? Try this simple yet incredibly bitter recipe to find out if you can handle
the most bitter cocktail of them all.
How to make it: Add 1 oz Bombay Sapphire gin, 1 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter
Liqueur and 1 oz Martini & Rossi Rubino vermouth into a mixing glass with ice. Pour into a
mixing glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange wedge.