Edit ModuleShow Tags

Where to Get a Braulio Cocktail in San Diego

The Alps-inspired Italian amaro is hard to come by, but worth the effort


Grant Grill's Piazza del Campo cocktail. | Photo: Kelly Davis

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about cocktails made with Cynar, the bittersweet Italian amaro of which I’m a huge fan. After the post was published, I got an email from Josh Carlos, San Diego’s brand rep for Campari America whose portfolio includes Cynar. We started chatting about Italian amari and he mentioned Braulio being his second favorite amaro, just behind Cynar.


I’m always looking for new and interesting spirits and liqueurs and I’d never heard of Braulio—let alone seen it featured in a cocktail. Turns out it’s got a pretty interesting backstory. Around for more than 140 years, created in the town of Bormio in the Italian Alps, it was acquired by the Campari Group in 2014. But, because each bottle is aged two years, it was initially difficult to come by. That’s been fixed—there’s now plenty of Braulio to go around; it’s just a matter of getting the word out to craft-cocktail bars and liquor stores. (In San Diego, check Mona Lisa market in Little Italy if you’d like to buy a bottle.)

Carlos describes Braulio’s flavor as “very palatable” and “somewhere between a vermouth and a bitter.” I think the bottle’s label—showing an idyllic alpine scene—pretty much captures it. It’s a little woodsy, a little sweet, a little minty, and a little herbal, with a caramel base.

There are only a handful of bars in San Diego where you can find Braulio (Prohibition, Bankers Hill, Kindred, and Cowboy Star among them). Two were kind enough to make up Braulio cocktails. If you’d like to play around with it at home, Carlos recommends serving it on ice with a generous lemon twist. Food and Wine recommends a Braulio Sour, made the traditional way with rye whiskey, Braulio, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, an egg white, and a dash of Angostura.

Or, try Cesar Sandoval’s Saluti cocktail. Sandoval, a bartender at La Jolla’s Catania, pulled in the slightly sweeter Amaro Montenegro and a couple dashes of lemon bitters for this well-balanced, spirit-forward cocktail.

The Saluti Cocktail | Photo: May Chu


1.5 oz. Braulio
.5 oz Rittenhouse Rye
.25 oz Amaro Montenegro
2 dashes lemon bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters

Serve in a rocks glass with a large cube of ice and garnish with a mint leaf.

“Braulio being such a beautiful and complex amaro, I wanted it to be the star of the show,” Sandoval says. “The 100-proof Rittenhouse gives it some nice spicy notes and cuts the natural viscosity of Braulio. A small amount of Montenegro helps as the sweet component of the drink, the lemon bitters adds acidity to the cocktail, and Angostura is what binds all of these ingredients together like nice happy family.”

Over at Grant Grill, Chef de Bar Cory Alberto created a Braulio cocktail called the Piazza del Campo. It’s made with some bold ingredients—Bertagnolli Grappa di Amarone, Talisker 10-year Scotch, Dolin Rouge sweet vermouth, Barolo Chinato, and Braulio—but you can taste how each component of the cocktail works to create the whole. And Alberto serves it beautifully.

The Piazza del Campo is one of five cocktails featured as part of Grant Grill’s new Vieux Carre bar cart program. The elegant, roving cocktail cart will be in the U.S. Grant Hotel’s lobby Thursday through Saturday nights and features five cocktails named after historic city centers, plus a sixth “omakase” option. They’ll run you $17 to $21, but are made with top-shelf ingredients and you get the added bonus of being able to chat up your bartender as he makes the cocktail right in front of you.

And, at The Lion’s Share, Jason O’Bryan came up with a Braulio twist on a Paper Plane. Called “Fly Like Paper,” it’s made with 1 ounce each of bourbon, Aperol, Braulio, and lemon, garnished with a generous grapefruit twist.

“I wanted to pair the lovely pine quality of the Braulio with grapefruit flavors,” he says. “This little Paper Plane variation’s got the textured bitterness of grapefruit with those tingly alpine notes from the Braulio.”

Got ideas for a future post? Write 2kellydavis@gmail.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Choose Your Own Hot Toddy at Madison on Park

Plus Grant Grill rolls out a Gin & Juice rap-inspired menu

Cocktail Gift Guide: 2018 Edition

Recipe books, bartending tools, and booze for your favorite home bartender

10 Holiday Cocktails to Get You in the Spirit

From a cocktail-centric holiday pop-up to Grandma’s secret hot buttered rum
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


9 Questions Answered about Botox

Avalon Laser demystifies Botox myths and explains procedures

Win Tickets to the 41st Annual SDCCU Holiday Bowl

This year’s Utah vs. Northwestern match-up marks the Holiday Bowl’s second straight paring of teams that are ranked nationally in the top 25
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards 2019
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies, and attractions
  2. Best Restaurants in San Diego: 2018
    San Diego's top restaurant owners, chefs, and bartenders name their favorite San Diego restaurants of 2018.
  3. Winter is Waiting in Montana’s Yellowstone Country
    Win a trip for two that includes roundtrip airfare from Long Beach and a stay at the Element by Westin in Bozeman, Montana
  4. First Look: Realm of 52 Remedies
    Wildly imaginative speakeasy cements the arrival of design to San Diego’s Asian food haven
  5. Incoming: The Hold Fast
    One of the country’s top sustainable sushi chefs is opening a handroll bar serving 100-percent local seafood
  6. Behind the Brands 2019
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module