Bitter Giuseppe Cocktail Recipe

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Bitter Giuseppe Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Bitter Giuseppe cocktail was created by Stephen Cole, a bartender at The Violet Hour in Chicago. It is a variation of the classic Negroni, but with the addition of Cynar, an Italian bitter liqueur made from artichokes. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy bitter and herbal flavors, and it has become a popular choice among cocktail enthusiasts.

  • The Bitter Giuseppe was first created in the early 2000s
  • It is often enjoyed as an aperitif before a meal
  • The cocktail is named after Giuseppe Cipriani, the founder of the famous Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy

How Bitter Giuseppe Tastes?

The Bitter Giuseppe is a complex and bitter cocktail with herbal and earthy notes. It has a slightly sweet and citrusy undertone, with a rich and velvety texture. The bitterness is balanced by the sweetness of the vermouth and the orange twist garnish.

Interesting facts about Bitter Giuseppe

  • Cynar, the key ingredient in the Bitter Giuseppe, is made from 13 different herbs and plants, including artichoke
  • The Bitter Giuseppe is sometimes called a 'grown-up Negroni' due to its more complex and bitter flavor profile
  • The cocktail is often served on the rocks, but can also be enjoyed straight up



A dark and bitter liqueur made from 13 herbs and plants, predominately artichoke. At 1.5 oz, it's the backbone of our Bitter Giuseppe, providing a vegetal bitterness that counters the sweetness elsewhere. Use less, you lose the heart; use more, you might overshadow the other flavors.

Alex Green

Sweet Vermouth

1 oz is the sweet dance partner to Cynar's boldness, bringing in herbaceous and sweet elements to harmonize the drink. Forgetting sweet vermouth is like skipping the violin in an orchestra – the melody won't be as rich.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

With 0.5 oz, it's the zesty splash that cuts through the herbal heaviness. Without it, the cocktail would be like a garden without sunshine – too earthy and lacking brightness.

Emma Rose

Orange Bitters

These provide a citrusy whisper and complexity with just 2 dashes. They're the seasoning to your cocktail steak – leaving them out is like serving a dish without a pinch of salt.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

At 0.25 oz, it's a subtle sweetener. It's the peacemaker that ensures all flavors play nicely. Too much, and you've got a sugar rush; too little, and you might pucker up more than intended.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Twist

This garnish is not just for show – it expresses essential oils over the drink, adding an aromatic layer. It's like the final touch of paint on a masterpiece, crafted to stimulate all senses.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Bitter Giuseppe Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice
  2. Add Cynar, sweet vermouth, lemon juice, orange bitters, and simple syrup
  3. Stir well to combine and chill the ingredients
  4. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice
  5. Garnish with an orange twist, expressing the oils over the top of the cocktail and placing it on the rim of the glass

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lemon juice for a brighter, more vibrant flavor.
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cold longer.
  • Express the orange twist over the glass to release its oils, adding an extra layer of flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheeses: Aged cheddars or blue cheeses to contrast the bitterness.
  • Charcuterie: Salty prosciutto or soppressata balances the cocktail's bitterness and enhances its herbal notes.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Meats: The smoky flavors complement the herbal qualities of Cynar.
  • Pasta Dishes: Try with a rich, tomato-based pasta which will work well with the sweet and bitter shades of the cocktail.


  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness of the chocolate aligns with the Cynar, creating a pleasing match.

Non-Alcoholic Pairings

  • Coffee: A bold espresso can stand up to the cocktail's intensity, creating a lasting after-dinner experience.

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What you could change in Bitter Giuseppe

  • Cynar: Can be substituted with another bitter liqueur, such as Campari or Aperol.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Can be replaced with dry vermouth for a less sweet cocktail.
  • Orange Bitters: If unavailable, Angostura bitters can be used as a substitute.

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Honeyed Giuseppe

Replacing simple syrup with honey syrup, this twist introduces a floral sweetness that complements the herbal Cynar. Serve it in a chilled glass to enhance the smoothness.


  • Cynar: 1.5 oz
  • Sweet Vermouth: 1 oz
  • Lemon Juice: 0.5 oz
  • Orange Bitters: 2 dashes
  • Honey Syrup: 0.25 oz
  • Lemon Twist: 1 for garnish

Recipe: Stir the Cynar, sweet vermouth, lemon juice, orange bitters, and honey syrup in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Spiced Giuseppe

Add a hint of spice by introducing a small amount of ginger syrup. This adds a warm, spicy kick that contrasts delightfully with the bitterness of Cynar.


  • Cynar: 1.5 oz
  • Sweet Vermouth: 1 oz
  • Lemon Juice: 0.5 oz
  • Orange Bitters: 2 dashes
  • Ginger Syrup: 0.25 oz
  • Candied Ginger: 1 piece for garnish

Recipe: Mix the Cynar, sweet vermouth, lemon juice, orange bitters, and ginger syrup over ice. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger.

Rosy Giuseppe

A floral note and a blush of color come into play when you add a splash of rose water and use a rose petal for garnish. It’s a delicate balance that’s perfect for a spring evening.


  • Cynar: 1.5 oz
  • Sweet Vermouth: 1 oz
  • Lemon Juice: 0.5 oz
  • Orange Bitters: 2 dashes
  • Simple Syrup: 0.25 oz
  • Rose Water: A splash
  • Rose Petal: 1 for garnish

Recipe: Combine Cynar, sweet vermouth, lemon juice, orange bitters, simple syrup, and a splash of rose water in a mixing glass with ice. Stir well, strain into a rocks glass over ice, and garnish with a rose petal.

In case you forgot basics how to make Bitter Giuseppe

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

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Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

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Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

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Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

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Frequently Asked Questions on Bitter Giuseppe

Can I use any other garnish besides the orange twist for the Bitter Giuseppe?

Yes, while the orange twist is traditional, you can experiment with other types of citrus like grapefruit or even aromatics like rosemary.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Bitter Giuseppe?

You can make a mocktail version by using non-alcoholic substitutes for the alcohols, like non-alcoholic sweet vermouth and non-alcoholic bitter liqueur. Lemon juice, orange bitters and syrup can remain the same.

What kind of food pairs well with a Bitter Giuseppe?

Given its Italian origins and bitter profile, the Bitter Giuseppe pairs well with rich pasta dishes, hearty meats, and strong cheeses.

Why is the cocktail named after Giuseppe Cipriani?

While the cocktail is only suggestively named after him, Giuseppe Cipriani was a well-known figure in the cocktail world, having founded the famous Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy.

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