Ready for a bigger, better, bitterer bar? Say hello to Bruto Americano! With a bracing dose of bitterness, a bright pop of citrus, and intriguing sylvan notes inspired by distiller Lance Winters’ formative experiences growing up in California in the 1970s, Bruto is a bitter aperitivo liqueur that makes us as proud as it does thirsty.
Availability: Widely available
An Italian-style aperitif with a California twist. Complex layers of flavor unfold, ending with a bitter swagger.
- New York Times
After one sip of this American take on an aperitivo, you’ll develop a deep love for the bitter stuff.
America’s elegant answer to Italy’s Campari.
- Spirit Journal
Deserves to rank up with the greats of the amaro world.
- Food & Wine
The rare domestic aperitif that trumps its more storied Italian counterparts.
- Coastal Living
Your Negronis and Spritzes just got more interesting.
- Drink Me
Use it in a Negroni or just spritz it up and discover your new day-drinking cocktail.
Decisively woodsy and piney, light and dry with bitterness that lingers in a pleasant way.
- San Francisco Chronicle
Nothing short of dazzling.
- Food Schmooze
Best Stuff of the Year
2016 Year's Best
- Wine & Spirit Magazine
We love Italian aperitivos, but we thought there was room in the world for an American aperitivo that expresses a clear point of view and a unique sense of place.
Growing up in post-Summer-of-Love California, master distiller Lance Winters experienced plenty of sandalwood incense in his formative years. These early olfactory impressions were a big inspiration behind the proprietary blend of herbs, roots, and botanicals that give Bruto its distinctive signature. While we keep most of these under wraps, we will say that the bitterness comes from gentian root; the citrus notes mostly from California-grown Seville orange; and the woodsy notes from balsam fir and Cascara sagrada (bark from the California buckthorn).
From start to finish, Bruto Americano took about three years to come together. We developed a process where some botanicals are hot-steeped while others are cold-extracted, which allows each one to really shine. The name is a little tongue-in-cheek. Bruto means brutish in Italian, as in “what kind of American would mess with the great Italian aperitivos?” The label is an homage to Italian Futurism. Its design was a collaboration between master distiller Lance Winters, head distiller Dave Smith, and bartender/graphic designer Brandon Josie.
Vibrant citrus, with notes of cinnamon, sandalwood, and forest on the nose. Initial palate entry is bitter, followed by a woodsy mid-palate and lingering bitter/citrus finish.
Bruto and Soda is a brilliant session drink. Also recommended in a Negroni, Boulevardier, Americano, and in your favorite Spritzes.
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