Grigori Rasputin was a self-anointed prophet during the the reign of Czar Nicholas II. Nicknamed the "Mad Monk" even though he wasn't a monk, Rasputin was a charismatic figure. He insinuated himself into the Russian royal family after he supposedly cured the hemophilia of the Czar's only son (he actually may have hypnotized the boy). Wary of his increasing influence, his enemies went to great lengths to murder him (cyanide poisoning, shooting, then drowning). Unlike its namesake, the Bitter Rasputin did not come out of early 20th century Russia. It's actually a 2014 creation from Jim Lindblad.
2 ounces vodka
.75 ounces Campari
.5 ounces green Chartreuse
2 dashes orange bitters
Combine in a mixing glass with ice, stir with a hypnotic motion, and strain into a chilled glass. Orange peel garnish optional.
No doubt about it, the Bitter Rasputin is strong. Vodka is a natural base for a Russian themed cocktail, da? As with other drinks such as my original Venetian Kiss, vodka pairs well with Campari. Combined with orange bitters, the Campari is what makes the cocktail bitter. Green Chartreuse, a key part of drinks such as the Bijou and the Last Word, injects a little liquid power and a hint of herbal sweetness. Mesmerizing as the Bitter Rasputin is, be careful. You don't want to end up like Rasputin.
Ready for a possible cocktail epiphany? Once you taste it, you'll fall under the spell of the Bitter Rasputin.