Sputnik Cocktail Recipe

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Sputnik 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 16, 2024


The Sputnik cocktail, named after the first artificial Earth satellite launched by the Soviet Union, is a modern creation that pays homage to the spirit of exploration and innovation. It's a drink that's popular among those who appreciate a strong, herbaceous flavor profile with a touch of sweetness.

  • Who Would Like It:
    • Fans of strong, spirit-forward cocktails
    • Adventurers and history buffs
    • People who enjoy herbal and bitter flavors

How Sputnik Tastes?

The Sputnik cocktail offers a bold and complex taste. The Absolut Vodka provides a clean, crisp base, while the Fernet Branca delivers a bitter, minty, and herbal punch. The lemon juice adds a slight tang, and the sugar syrup balances the bitterness with a subtle sweetness.

Interesting facts about Sputnik

  • The Sputnik cocktail's name is a nod to the pioneering satellite launched in 1957.
  • Fernet Branca, a key ingredient, is known for its digestive properties.
  • This cocktail is often enjoyed as a digestif due to its herbal components.


A few good options for Sputnik are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

Ice Cubes

Ice is not just about keeping your drink cold; it's also a key player in the dilution process. A drink shaken with ice gets just the right amount of water to mellow down the strong spirits. No ice? Brace yourself for a more intense, in-your-face sip.

Mary Mitkina

Absolut Vodka

This Swedish vodka provides a clean canvas for the 'out-of-this-world' flavors of the other ingredients. It's 1 oz because balance is essential – too much vodka and you'll miss the Sputnik's complexity; too little and it barely holds its orbit. Swap Absolut for another premium vodka and you'll still have a smooth ride to flavor town.

Emma Rose

Digestif Fernet Branca

The Italian Fernet offers a minty, herbaceous kick that could start a party in a monastery. At 0.33 oz, it's a nod to tradition without overwhelming the senses. Omit this, and you'll subtract the soul from this celestial experience. No Fernet? Try a different amaro for a twist on the herbal experience.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

Just a drop to 'lemon-zest' your journey – it cuts through the sweetness and adds a citrusy pop to your interstellar trek. Skip it, and you'll be flying flavorless in a taste vacuum.

Mary Mitkina

Sugar Syrup

A drop of sweetness to orbit the bitter and sour planets in the mix. Too much sweetness and you'll crash-land into a sugary swamp; too little and the bitterness might just hijack your taste buds. A simple syrup swap? Try honey or agave for a different kind of sweetness.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Sputnik Drink

  1. Fill a Boston shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add 1 oz of Absolut Vodka.
  3. Measure and pour 0.33 oz of Fernet Branca.
  4. Add 1 drop of lemon juice and 1 drop of sugar syrup.
  5. Shake the mixture vigorously in the shaker.
  6. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the cocktail glass beforehand to keep the drink colder for longer.
  • When adding the lemon juice and sugar syrup, ensure they are just a drop for the perfect balance.
  • Use fresh ice for a clearer and better-tasting cocktail.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: The richness of cured meats can pair well with the herbal notes of Fernet Branca and the clean bite of vodka.
  • Marinated Olives: Olives present a briny contrast that complements the Sputnik's aromatic qualities.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Steak: The robust flavor of grilled steak can stand up to the Sputnik's boldness. The lemon juice's acidity also helps cut through the fattiness of the meat.
  • Spicy Seafood Pasta: A dish with a kick will match the intensity of the digestif in the cocktail.


  • Dark Chocolate: Chocolate and Fernet Branca share a bitter profile, making this a heavenly match.
  • Lemon Tart: A dessert with citrus notes echoes the lemon juice in the Sputnik.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Sputnik

  • Absolut Vodka: Can be substituted with any high-quality vodka.
  • Fernet Branca: While unique, you might try other types of amaro for a different bitter profile.
  • Sugar Syrup: Honey syrup or agave nectar can be used for a more complex sweetness.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Cosmic Berry

  • Replace vodka with raspberry-infused vodka.
  • Add 0.5 oz Chambord.
  • Garnish with fresh raspberries. Infusing the cosmos with berries, this twist boasts berry flavors that dance with the Fernet's herby notes. A hint of Chambord enhances the fruitiness, creating a galaxy of taste in a glass.

Green Satellite

  • Add 2 slices of cucumber to the shaker.
  • Use honey syrup instead of sugar syrup.
  • Garnish with a cucumber wheel. Earthy cucumber spirals through the cocktail, while the honey adds a velvety sweetness. Sipping this, you’ll feel like you're floating through a garden in space.

The Dark Comet

  • Use black vodka like Blavod.
  • Add a splash of cola.
  • Serve in an old-fashioned glass with ice. A darker journey through the universe, the black vodka and cola create a mysterious concoction. The subtle cola sweetness provides a stellar contrast to the herbal bitterness.

In case you forgot basics how to make Sputnik

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

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.

Learn everything on how to strain

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Frequently Asked Questions on Sputnik

How do I properly measure a 'drop' of an ingredient?

A 'drop' in cocktail-making is roughly equivalent to 0.5 ml. You can use a dropper or simply invert the bottle and allow one drop to fall out.

What is the origin of the Fernet Branca?

Fernet Branca is a type of amaro, an Italian herbal liqueur. It was created in Milan in 1845 and has become renowned for its bitter, aromatic properties.

How do I know if I'm shaking the cocktail enough?

Vigorous shaking for at least 10-15 seconds is usually enough to properly chill and dilute the cocktail. You'll often know it's ready when the shaker feels very cold to the touch.

Can I make a large batch of the Sputnik cocktail?

Yes, you can scale the recipe up to make a large batch. Just maintain the ingredient ratios, mix in a pitcher, and serve over ice.

What is the best way to chill my cocktail glass?

The best way to chill a glass is by placing it in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before serving or by filling it with ice and cold water while you prepare the cocktail.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Sputnik cocktail?

To make a mocktail version, substitute the vodka with non-alcoholic spirit or soda water and the Fernet Branca with a non-alcoholic herbal or bitter syrup.

What type of ice should I use for shaking the cocktail?

Use large, dense ice cubes for shaking as they will dilute the cocktail less while still chilling it effectively.

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