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The Sipsmith Blog

5 Bitter Cocktails Every Negroni Lover Should Try

in Mixology August 27, 2021

Love Negronis but wondering what to sip next? Here are five bitter cocktails – made with our eminently sippable London Dry Gin – that are guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds. 

Pucker up: it’s not always bad to live life on the bitter side, as these five bracing serves go to show. If you love nothing more than stirring up a perfect Negroni, or don’t like your drinks syrupy-sweet, these bitter cocktails are just the thing to add to your sipping repertoire.

CHICOTE’S MARTINI

What beloved bartender Harry Craddock was to London, so Perico Chicote was to Madrid. Taking a classic Martini recipe, he introduced a subtle twist that adds a wonderfully piquant intensity. 

Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass full of very cold ice. Add the gin, vermouth and bitters, and stir briskly for 50 turns. Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish according to your preference.

To learn more about Harry Craddock, check out our profile of the man behind the Martini. The author of The Savoy Cocktail Book, which was first published in 1930 and still regarded as one of the essential cocktail bibles, his stirred and shaken creations put the renowned London hotel’s American Bar on the map. 

PINK GIN

If you’re of the Winston Churchill school of Martinis and prefer to mix yours without vermouth, then Pink Gin is the tipple for you. This classic, exceptionally simple serve pairs gin and Angostura bitters, which creates a drink with a pink hue and pleasing piquancy.

Fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass full of very cold ice. Add both ingredients and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Feeling inspired? Pink gin has never been more popular and there are plenty of ways to shake up your own blush-coloured cocktails at home, such as berry-bright Clover Club.

Pink gin cocktail - Clover Club

GIN-CAMPARI SOUR

We adore this contemporary bitter gin cocktail recipe, which comes courtesy of Saveur. The addition of egg white, simple syrup, orange bitters and lemon juice makes for both frothiness and a pleasingly sour bite.

  • 45ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
  • 25ml Campari
  • 25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • Orange wedge or twist, to garnish

Add the first five ingredients to a cocktail shaker and dry shake. Open, fill with ice and seal, then shake again to emulsify. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with an orange wedge or twist.

Remember, our uncompromisingly handcrafted London Dry Gin is perfectly complemented by a range of flavourful gin syrups. Get started on making your own sugar syrup for this recipe, and to form the base for an array of other ingredients

Orange Sour

BLOOD ORANGE NEGRONI

One of our favourite Negroni riffs, this delicious tipple features blood orange juice along with Picon – a bitter French aperitif – that combine to make this a bold and bracing choice.

Bitter gin cocktail - Blood Orange Negroni

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add the first four ingredients and stir well to combine. Strain into a chilled rocks glass and garnish with a dried blood orange slice. Add a sprig of fresh – or even smoked – rosemary for a fragrant flourish.

GIN AND BITTER LEMON

Refreshing and tangy in equal measure, this bitter cocktail is so simple it only takes a few seconds to make. 

Fill a highball glass with very cold ice. Add the gin and top up with the bitter lemon to taste. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Don’t forget to take a photo of your creations and tag us @sipsmith – we’d love to see your beautiful bitter cocktails on social media.

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