Gallop Into The Weekend With The 'Spaghetti Western'

Photo: Claire Lower

Happy weekend, everyone, and welcome back to 3-Ingredient Happy Hour, the weekly drink column featuring super simple yet delicious libations. This week I’m making a “Western-themed” cocktail, because a man on Twitter asked me very nicely.

To be extremely honest, I do not know much about video games, because my mum would only let me play on my Nintendo 64 for 30 minutes at a time, which is not enough if you want to get anywhere in Star Fox.

I also don’t know a ton about Westerns, except that a lot of them were filmed in Italy, which explains why the “Spaghetti Western” is the most popular cocktail when you Google “Western cocktail”.

There are, however, many different recipes for the “Spaghetti Western” — some contain Campari (good), some contain tomatoes (nah).

The one that caught my eye, however, contains an Italian amaro I had yet to taste: Cardamaro. It’s a cardoon-flavored, wine-based, vermouth-like situation, with a friendly bitterness has me calling it “Cynar Lite”. When mixed with an equal amount of whiskey — you can use rye or bourbon — you get something that is very strong and very sippable.

To make one yourself, you will need:

  • 45ml rye or bourbon
  • 45ml Cardamaro
  • 3 dashes orange bitters

Pour everything into a glass with ice and stir until it is very cold. Strain into a coupe glass, imagine either a cowboy or someone playing Red Dead Redemption 2 drinking from a coupe glass, and feel mighty pleased.


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