I’ve been on a tear using St. George’s new amaro Bruto Americano lately. I love all things amaro, so there’s been non-stop experimentation trying the woodsy, botanic, bitter liquor as a substitute for Campari in just about everything (also as a substitute for water).  It’s got more of a punch than Campari, so I agree with the consensus that less of it can be used than campari in standard recipes like the negroni.

Plus, with it being Independence Day weekend, it seemed proper to do something with a liquor with a name of “Americano”.

In my internet sleuthing, I stumbled upon the Black Betty by Max Greco, with rye, Braulio amaro, Cynar, and Herbsaint. A drink with two amaros and absinthe?! Sign me up!

I made the most of our recent spending spree at St. George’s by substituting the Braulio with Bruto Americano and the Herbsaint with St. George’s absinthe. The drink ended up being fabulous. It’s complex – with some bitter, anise, sylvan, and vegetal notes.

As for the name? While trying to understand why the original was called the Black Betty, I stumbled upon founding father Benjamin Franklin’s Drinkers Dictionary, in which over 220 phrases for “being drunk” were published. One of them is “he’s kiss’d black Betty”, which may have led to the naming of the Black Betty cocktail. 

The inspiration for our twist’s name comes from the introduction to the Drinkers Dictionary, in which Benjamine Franklin writes: “I was even tempted to add a new one my self under the Letter B, to wit, Brutify’d: But upon Consideration, I fear’d being guilty of Injustice to the Brute Creation, if I represented Drunkenness as a beastly Vice, since, ’tis well-known, that the Brutes are in general a very sober sort of People.”

So there you have it. The Brutify’d. A perfect way to celebrate one of our founding fathers on Independence Day.

Cocktail next to 2 bottles

Bonus, if you are feeling especially patriotic this independence Day, I highly recommend reading Benjamin Franklin’s “dating” advice to a friend on how to properly select a mistress, in which he extols the virtues of older women: although the upper body gets older, “the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever. So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one.” 


  • 1.5 oz Rye (Bulleit)
  • 0.5 oz Bruto Americano
  • 0.5 oz Cynar
  • 0.25 oz St. George absinthe
  • Big ice & lemon peel garnish


Old Fashioned Glass


  • In a cocktail shaker with ice, mix together rye, Bruto Americano, Cynar, and absinthe
  • Pour into a Tom Collins with a large ice cube
  • Enjoy and get brutify’d

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