Italian Buck (Amaro and Ginger Beer Highball) Recipe

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

This fizzy, spicy, sweet-tart, and bitter drink was created by Jamie Boudreau of Canon in Seattle, and appears in Amaro by Brad Thomas Parsons. It's a little like a bitter, gutsy take on a Dark 'n Stormy, but instead of rum, the drink is made with two bittersweet Italian liqueurs: orangey Montenegro and vegetal Cynar.

The original recipe calls for three ounces of ginger beer; I recommend stopping at two and giving the drink a taste before you continue. The two-ounce version is bracing and unusual, intense and delicious; if you like it bitter, stop there. Looking for something a bit more approachable to please a crowd? Add another half ounce or full ounce if desired, stirring very gently to mix.

Recipe Facts



Active: 2 mins
Total: 2 mins
Makes: 1 drink

Rate & Comment


  • 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) Cynar
  • 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) Montenegro
  • 3/4 ounce (22ml) fresh juice from 2 limes
  • 2 to 3 ounces (60 to 90ml) ginger beer, to taste
  • Lime wheel or two, for garnish (optional)


  1. Add Cynar, Montenegro, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 12 seconds. Add ginger beer.

  2. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass, garnish with lime wheels if desired, and serve.

Special equipment

Cocktail shaker and strainer

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