Imagine an aperitivo that came of age during the Summer of Love. Bruto Americano is a bold red bitter with classic roots and a counter-cultural attitude. While Bruto’s bitter gentian base makes it the perfect anchor for a Negroni, its distinct notes of balsam fir and cascara sagrada will open up your mind as well as your palate.
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 with a personality all its own. Spirits are our form of self-expression, and Bruto Americano exemplifies our passion for composing with distinctive botanicals that convey a profound 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 almost three years to come together. We use a multitude of processes to develop Bruto’s beguiling blend of flavors. Some are hot-steeped, others are cold-extracted. All of them are labored over with obsessive attention to detail.
The name “Bruto Americano” is a bit 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 Futurism, which was the style of the day when the first Italian red bitters transformed drinking as we know it. Its design was a collaboration between master distiller Lance Winters, head distiller Dave Smith, and bartender/graphic designer Brandon Josie and nods to the fact that we use natural ingredients to give Bruto its beautiful crimson hue.
Bruto Americano absolutely bursts with flavor. On the nose you’ll find vibrant citrus backed by cinnamon, sandalwood, and fir. On the palate, Bruto leads with bitter before opening up to an herbaceous mid-palate that gives way to a lingering bitter/citrus finish.
In cocktails, use Bruto anywhere you’d use an Italian red bitter (and in a few places you wouldn’t.) Bruto shines in an Americano, where the simple recipe lets its unique botanicals showcase themselves. Try it in a Negroni or a Boulevardier, where it lends new nuance to these beloved classics. And if you’d like to taste how Bruto can inspire new cocktail recipes, put it through its paces in a drink like the Belle Fille.
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