The Trident Recipe

Photograph: Paul Clarke

As I wrote on Wednesday, Cynar is a bitter Italian liqueur flavored with more than a dozen botanicals, including most notably artichokes. While this distinctive amaro is enjoying a bit of a moment among craft bartenders nowadays, five years ago you'd have been hard-pressed to find many Cynar-laced cocktails.

Here's one that helped get things rolling: the Trident.

Created by Seattle cocktail evangelist Robert Hess, the Trident is a close cousin of the Negroni, with a few interesting life turns.

As any Negroni-lover could tell you, this classic cocktail is composed of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari; the Trident takes the same formula, but swaps out each of the ingredients for another that's somewhat similar, though still quite different. In place of the herbaceous character of gin, the Trident uses the cumin-and-caraway flavors of Scandinavian aquavit (House Spirits in Portland, Oregon also makes a lovely aquavit); sweet vermouth is replaced with the nuttiness of dry sherry; and for the bitter edge, Cynar takes the place of Campari.

Add a couple of dashes of peach bitters, which adds a fresh-fruit fragrance to the drink, and you have a complex-flavored cocktail still very much in the Negroni tradition.

Recipe Facts

Active: 3 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serves: 1 serving

Rate & Comment


  • 1 ounce aquavit
  • 1 ounce Cynar
  • 1 ounce dry sherry
  • 2 dashes peach bitters
  • Thin strip of lemon peel, for garnish


  1. Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well until chilled, about 30 seconds.

  2. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over drink, and use as garnish.

Special equipment

mixing glass, bar spoon, bar strainer