Italian Gentleman Cocktail

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Cocktail Type


Great for

Dinner Party



Top View of Italian Gentleman Cocktail

Take bitter, crimson-red Campari and sweet bourbon and you’ll get the Italian Gentleman cocktail. Campari stars in many aperitif cocktails, including the worldwide famous Negroni. Its distinctive flavour also makes it very versatile and great for experimentation.

So, if you love the idea of a Campari bourbon combo, this cocktail will become your new favourite. It is also fairly easy to prepare, making for a great aperitif to serve your guests at dinner parties. Find the classic recipe below.



Chill to the max: serving your chilly cocktail in a cold glass for the best sip.


Serve this aperitif with tasty bites like bruschetta with brie and Parma ham or melon wrapped in prosciutto.


If this sip it too tangy for you, just add a dash more simple syrup



1 Person

22.5 Ml

0.75 Oz

0.75 Parts

22.5 Ml

0.75 Oz

0.75 Parts

7.5 Ml

0.25 Oz

0.25 Parts

Lemon juice
Teaspoon simple syrup
Dash of orange bitters
To garnish, a slice of lemon



Chill a coupe glass with a few ice cubes


Half fill a shaker with ice


Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker (or mason jar) and shake well


Discard the ice from the glass and strain the cocktail into the cold coupe


Garnish with lemon and enjoy!

What is an Italian Gentleman?

The Italian Gentleman cocktail can be seen as a crossover between a Negroni and a whiskey sour, as it features the key element of Negroni, Campari, but uses bourbon instead of gin. It’s also sweeter thanks to the addition of simple syrup.

Unlike Negroni, the Italian Gentleman is of recent creation, precisely in 2014 when John McCarthy and Carey Jones featured it first in Food & Wine and later in their book Be Your Own Bartender. However, its bold character and classic feeling make it a timeless cocktail.

Many cocktails, in particular Italian Cocktails, use a small amount of Campari due to its strong flavour, but the Italian Gentleman features equal parts Campari and bourbon since the vanilla and baked spices notes of the whiskey are strong enough to stand up to a generous pour of the bitter red aperitif liqueur. The citrusy notes of Campari are also enhanced by the addition of fresh lemon juice to the recipe.


If you include amaretto in your Italian Gentleman recipe, you will get a Quiet Italian Gentleman, a slightly sweeter variation of this bourbon and Campari drink with an almond aroma.

The Italian Gentleman is a variation of the Negroni, which is one of the most famous Italian cocktails, usually served as an aperitif. Hence, the Italian Gentlemen should be served before dinner. The presence of bourbon also makes it a perfect standalone cocktail to enjoy on a night out.

Campari is an Italian aperitif bitter invented in the 1860s by Gaspare Campari. Its recipe is kept top secret, but what we do know is that it includes up to 70 herbs, flowers and roots infused into strong alcohol and sweetened with sugar syrup. Its deep red colour is iconic across Italy and beyond.

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