Boo! The Bitter Bubbly!


Double, double toil and trouble.  Fire burn and cocktails bubble!  All Hallows' eve and day is upon us so it's the perfect time to make a fun and frightening concoction right for any adult Halloween party!  I am a huge fan of a spritz and totally support something boozy and bubbly for fall!  My inspiration for this cocktail was researching about Venetian spritz's.  Veneto (Venice), Italy is known for prosecco and bitter cocktails called a spritz (German meaning splash or sparkling).  Usually people know about an Aperol and Campari spritz, but another common spritz is made with Cynar amaro.  Instantly I thought how deliciously herbatious, rich and bitter Cynar would be in a fall inspired spritz to celebrate through the coming months of food and sweet filled holidays!  Putting just an amaro in the cocktail is just not enough...I recently fell in love with Leopold Bros. Aperitivo a bittersweet liquor similar to Campari and tried the two together with a topper of prosecco and Abracadabra-Poof!! The bewitching, refreshing and bittersweet Bitter Bubbly!


  • 3/4 oz. Leopold Bros. Aperitivo
  • 3/4 oz. Cynar Amaro
  • 3-3 1/2 oz. Prosecco (any dry sparkling white will work) 


Take out your stirring glass and combine the first two ingredients, Leopold Bros. Aperitivo and Cynar.  Add a few medium sized ice cubes and begin to stir with your stir spoon.  Stir with ice for 20-30 seconds.  Then grab your julep strainer and pour out into wine glass with a big cube.  Below I made ice spheres with plastic bejeweled spiders frozen inside, super easy with a mold and scary! But...still pretty!  Add the prosecco to the cocktail, give a little stir to mix it all up and then add a half orange slice.  There you have it...the Bitter Bubbly!  Cheers! 


A little background on my preferred spirits and inclusions: 

Leopold Bros. Aperitivo:  A beautiful take on an aperitivo in the style of Campari and Aperol.  Made in the Denver, Colorado by master distiller Todd Leopold who wanted a more floral and earthy take on an aperitivo.  The base spirit is vodka made from malted barley, potatoes and wheat.  They then separate the distillate in two batches and re-distill, one with grapefruit peel and one with coriander.  After that they add cane sugar and a blend of botanicals including vanilla, gentian root, hyssop, petite wormwood, and sarsaparilla root and let macerate for 2-3 weeks!  The coolest part about this product is that the lovely scarlet red color comes from the cochineal beetle!   To deter predators the cochineal beetle produces carminic acid a red substance that is tasteless and orderless, which has been used to dye cordials, fabrics and lipsticks for hundreds of years.  Even world famous Campari used it in their original recipe but they no longer do....Bummer.  Leopold Bros. Aperitvo is a must have for any person who loves the bitterness of Campari.  It is top notch!   If you can't find Leopold Aperitvo, it is perfectly fine to replace with Campari in this cocktail.

Cynar: Cynar was introduced in Italy in 1952 by Venetian entrepreneur and philanthropist Angelo Dalle Molle.  It is still made from a secret recipe containing 13 different herbs and plants.   One of the ingredients artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is the main flavor profile in Cynar.  They use most of the artichoke including the leaves to get its distinctive flavor.  Found in artichokes is cynarine, a high antioxidant known to help digestion, gall bladder issues, liver function and lower your cholesterol!

Prosecco:  The name comes from the Italian village of Prosecco near Trieste, where the grapes for prosecco were originally grown.  The grape Glera is the most common grape in prosecco, but other Italian varietals are used.