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I created this simple cocktail for its frank, cozy comfort. Its name comes from its two main ingredients — Cardamaro and rye — and also from the unassuming way in which it warms you right up.

The Corduroy rye and cardamaro cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with an orange twist
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Why we love this recipe

I love the Corduroy for its simple but sophisticated vibe. Rye whiskey lays the strong, solid groundwork for this drink, and Cardamaro works its subtly sweet, pleasantly bitter, gently vegetal magic. A couple of dashes of orange bitters round out the flavor without overcomplicating things.

This cocktail is great anytime but especially when you’re in the mood for cozy, gently sophisticated comfort.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

rye whiskey, cardamaro vino amaro, orange bitters, and an orange twist for a corduroy cocktail
  • Rye whiskey has a dry, peppery, almost savory vibe. In a cocktail like this, it’s the perfect balance to cider’s gentle sweetness.
  • Cardamaro vino amaro is sometimes called a gentler cousin of Cynar. You can learn more about it in the section below.
  • A few dashes of orange bitters and a simple orange twist to garnish add an another gentle layer of complexity without an excess of fuss.

What is Cardamaro?

Cardamaro is an Italian vino amaro — a wine-based amaro. It has a relatively low alcohol content at 17% ABV and is great to sip on its own or as a cocktail ingredient. Cardamaro is made from cardoon and blessed thistle, which are relatives of the artichoke, and it’s often called a gentler cousin of Cynar.

Cardamaro adds gentle bitterness, sweetness, and a pleasant vegetal character to cocktails. For stronger drinks, you can use it in place of sweet vermouth. It mixes particularly well with whiskeys and apple brandies. For much lighter drinks, you can use it in place of whiskey.

Or sip on its own as an aperitif or a digestif. Try it with salty cheeses, nuts, and charcuterie.

As with other fortified wines, its low-alcohol content gives it a relatively short shelf life, so keep it in the fridge after opening and use it within two to three months.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a beautiful Corduroy rye and Cardamaro cocktail. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice.
  2. Pour in the rye, Cardamaro, and orange bitters. To make the drink stronger and less sweet, use 1 1/2 ounces Cardamaro. To make it smoother and rounder, use 2 ounces.
  3. Stir well until you can feel that the outside of the mixing glass is very cold.
  4. Strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass and garnish with an orange twist. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I batch this recipe for a party?

Sure thing. To make eight drinks, up to 24 hours before serving time, combine in a pitcher: 2 cups rye, 1 1/2 to 2 cups Cardamaro (see notes in recipe card below for details), 16 dashes (2 teaspoons) orange bitters, and 1/2 cup water. Give it a stir, cover, and chill. At serving time, divide among ice-filled rocks glasses and garnish each with an orange twist.

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The Corduroy rye and cardamaro cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with an orange twist

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The Corduroy rye and cardamaro cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with an orange twist
4.91 from 20 votes

The Corduroy: A Rye and Cardamaro Cocktail

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
I created the Corduroy when we were looking for some cozy, uncomplicated yet still nuanced comfort. This rye and Cardamaro cocktail is incredibly quick and easy to make but has a nice complexity due to the magic of Cardamaro.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
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Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1 ½ to 2 ounces Cardamaro
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Orange twist, to garnish

Instructions 

  • Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice.
  • Pour in rye, Cardamaro, and bitters. For a slightly drier and stronger drink, use 1 1/2 ounces Cardamaro. For a slightly rounder one, use 2 ounces Cardamaro.
  • Stir well until you can feel the outside of the mixing glass get very cold.
  • Strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass, garnish with an orange twist, and serve.

Notes

  1. If you like, you can batch this drink for a party. To make eight drinks, up to 24 hours before serving time, combine in a pitcher: 2 cups rye, 1 1/2 to 2 cups Cardamaro, 16 dashes (2 teaspoons) orange bitters, and 1/2 cup water. Give it a stir, cover, and chill. At serving time, divide among ice-filled rocks glasses and garnish each with an orange twist.

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktails
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.91 from 20 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. Yummy drink. Careful with the batching recipe. There should be dilution from the initial stirring, so that batching will be very strong.

    1. Good point, Ruben, thanks. I forgot to call for the additional water in the batch — I’ll update the notes.