Between the worldwide adoption of all things aperitivo and the ascent of rule-breaking cocktails that exchange the dasher bottle for a jigger, it’s safe to say that bitter has taken over. But even if you’re not downing Angostura shots, the spectrum of bitter drinks still has something for you. Here’s how to dive in: Consider the lighter Rome With a View or tropical Bitter Mai Tai as a gateway before proceeding to bracing digestifs. And, if you dare, the extra-austere Campari Shakerato and Gunshop Fizz are just a few ingredients—and in the case of the latter, 2 ounces of Peychaud’s—away.
Ready to discover your next favorite cocktail? See where yours lies on our Bitter Cocktail Matrix, and find all of our top bitter recipes below.
Bitter Mai Tai
The iconic tiki drink gets a Campari twist.
An Italian spin on the classic buck cocktail.
Rome With a View
A measure of citrus kicks up this bracingly bittersweet spritz.
A Campari-laced riff on the traditional German beer and citrus drink.
This Jungle Bird omits rum altogether, focusing on amari and cold-brew coffee instead.
An after-dinner Fernet Old-Fashioned brightened with a blood orange reduction.
Audrey Sanders' modern classic take on the Manhattan.
Hop Skip Jump
Bitter Cynar and Punt e Mes complement the hoppy aromas of American Pale Ale.
The Black Stallion Sets Sail
A neo-tiki Negroni, made with blackstrap rum and "Ferrari."
Bitter Almond Negroni
A winterized rendition of the Negroni, with each of its building blocks swapped out.
A “deep dark Negroni, turned on its head.”
A more approachable take on the austere and quite bitter Shakerato.
An unexpected spin on the Negroni featuring mezcal, Bonal and Cynar.
A full two ounces of Peychaud's bitters shine in this New Orleans-born cocktail.