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 Details

The Trident Recipe

Active 3 mins
Total 3 mins
Serves 1 serving


  • 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

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
199 Calories
0g Fat
18g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 199
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 185mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 38mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)