Trident

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Cocktail History

The Trident is an equal-parts aquavit, sherry, and Cynar cocktail that was created by Robert Hess at the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle, Washington. It is best described as a reinterpretation of the classic Negroni that swaps out its three flavor profiles for similar ingredients from seafaring countries. While much lighter and easier on the inexperienced palate than the Negroni, this drink still beautifully combines the strong, bitter, and sweet aspects of its inspiration into a delicious recipe.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Aquavit: This is one of the base spirits. It’s a neutral spirit that is distilled from grains or potatoes, similar to vodka, but it adds flavors of caraway and other spices. We used State Line Distilling’s Aquavit because it’s made locally to us and is aged in rye whiskey barrels, giving it more complexity.

Cynar: This is an amaro. It adds a bitter herbal flavor with notes of toffee, caramel, and cinnamon.

Fino Sherry: This is the other base spirit. It’s a type of fortified wine that is drier and has a slight almond flavor.

Peach Bitters: This is a type of spirit infused with peach and botanicals. They add stone fruit flavor and spice to the drink for more complexity. We used Fee Brothers Peach Bitters for their potent peach taste and floral notes.

Lemon Peel: This is the garnish. It adds citrus aroma.

Tasting Notes

The Trident starts with combined aromas of citrus, sherry, and aquavit, and it initially features the taste of sherry before evolving into an anise-tinged sweetness that turns slightly bitter as it sits in the mouth. It then finishes with an aftertaste of Cynar’s distinct profile and a very long-lasting anise note.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We were both quite pleased with this drink! Kendall was wary of the Cynar at first but ended up liking it thanks to the other flavors, and Alex loved the vast complexity it offered. We’d definitely mix it again!

Alex’s Take: “I figured I would enjoy this enough going in, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it really was. It’s far from sweet, but it doesn’t have too much bitterness that would turn anybody off. The sherry provides its characteristic flavor while the Cynar brings the sweetness and bitterness, and the aquavit is the real wild card with its strong anise notes. While the peach bitters weren’t directly noticeable at all, I have no doubt that they were working in the background to tie everything together with a small hit of extra flavor, and the drink probably wouldn’t have been the same without them.”

Kendall’s Take: “When I saw Cynar on its list of ingredients, I fully expected to take one sip of this cocktail and be finished, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. The sherry and aquavit really hide the Cynar well, resulting in a taste that’s more savory than it is bitter like a Negroni is. I probably wouldn’t request this one again but am glad I tried it.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: The Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 1 oz Aquavit
 1 oz Fino Sherry
 1 oz Cynar
 2 dashes Peach Bitters
 1 Lemon Peel

Method
1

Add aquavit, fino sherry, Cynar, peach bitters, and ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lemon peel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 oz Aquavit
 1 oz Fino Sherry
 1 oz Cynar
 2 dashes Peach Bitters
 1 Lemon Peel

Directions

Method
1

Add aquavit, fino sherry, Cynar, peach bitters, and ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lemon peel.

Trident

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More Modern Classic Cocktails

If you like this cocktail recipe, here are a few other modern classics we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

 Paper Plane: A bourbon cocktail made with Aperol, Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, lemon juice, and a lemon peel

 Boo Radley: A bourbon cocktail made with Cynar, cherry liqueur, a lemon peel, and an orange peel

 Mott & Mulberry: A rye cocktail made with Luxardo Amaro Abano, apple cider, lemon juice, Demerara syrup, and apple slices

 White Negroni: A gin cocktail made with Lillet Blanc, Suze, and a lemon peel

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