Bitter Betrayal | A Holy Wednesday Cocktail


  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Montenegro Amaro
  • 1 oz Fernet Branca
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • 1 small ice cube (yes, it’s an ingredient)

Add all spirits into a small glass. Add one small ice cube and swirl until it is mostly melted. Enjoy.

View other Holy Day cocktails.

* * * *

I am doing a cocktail for each day of Holy Week based on the events that happened on those days. Today’s cocktail is really obvious, incredibly straightforward, and very, very good.

Holy Wednesday is the day that Judas betrayed Jesus. It’s a strange event in the gospels, with hardly any details. We don’t know Judas’ motives, why he was paid the amount he was, or the events leading to his betrayal.

The only details we get are that Jesus saw it coming, and the gospel writers saw this as one of the purest acts of evil and betrayal that’s ever been done.

So today’s cocktail tries to capture the bitterness of this betrayal–bitterness so great that it even ate away at Judas himself to the point of suicide.

So for this drink, I simply got the three bitterest ingredients I have, and threw them together with some orange bitters. And I am shocked how well it all came together.

The resulting drink is dark and complex, with both an herbal and fruit bitterness, and a bright pop of citrus and hint of mint. It is brash and subtle, all at once.

You will either love or hate this drink.

Ingredient Notes

I played with the ratios a lot for this drink. You would think that an equal part Fernet Branca would overpower the whole thing. And it does, but that’s before you put in the ice cube to dilute and chill it. Doing that brings out the other flavors and mutes the Fernet a bit.

As for substitutions, you can probably throw in any number of amaros to substitute for Montenegro, but you should adjust the recipe accordingly. Montenegro has enough bite and complexity to stand up to the other ingredients. But if you use any softer ingredient, like Averna instead of Montenegro or Aperol instead of Campari, then take down the Fernet Branca to a quarter ounce.

One last side note: I am aware that this is the worst quality of all the cocktail pictures I’ve posted. I don’t know why this particular one was so, so hard to get a good picture of. It was very frustrating. But the drink itself is great!

Recipe Card


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