You Should Add Bitter Bianco to Your Whiskey

You Should Add Bitter Bianco to Your Whiskey
Photo: Claire Lower

I did not plan to make this drink today. I planned to make a drink that featured a lot of Campari, because I love Campari. But sadly, I am out of Campari. The liquor store is not far, but it is very cold out, and the ever-rising number of COVID cases in my city does not make the idea of venturing out any more enticing.

So instead, I grabbed my bottle of Luxardo’s Bitter Bianco, which I used to make one cocktail back in August, and then never wrote about again.

It’s too bad that it took me so long to come back to this bottle, as it’s a pretty delightful bitter. It’s similar to Suze and Campari, though it lacks the gentian found in the former and the burnt orange found in the latter, and it’s less bitter than both. It’s a good “starter bitter,” and can be subbed into cocktails that call for either Suze or Campari. It also tastes surprisingly good with bourbon (and a little vermouth).

Using the ratios for this bourbon and Suze drink from Food & Wine (but omitting the smoked paprika), I built a drink somewhere in-between a white Negroni and a Manhattan, and it was delicious: silky, strong, a little sweet and quite herbaceous. It made me glad I decided to skip the trip to the liquor store. To make it, you will need:

  • 35mL bourbon
  • 30mL Luxardo Bitter Bianco
  • 22mL dry vermouth

Pour everything into a stirring glass filled with ice and stir until the glass becomes too cold to hold. Strain into a coupe. Drink. If you desire a garnish, try a strip of orange zest, but I don’t think one is completely necessary.

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