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Steamboat Magazine

Boat Libations – Modern Italian Classic Cocktails at Mambo Italiano

10/08/2019 10:27AM ● By Alesha Damerville

Article and Images By Alesha Damerville

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS– Often times when you find yourself in search of the perfect cocktail, you can find it. The question this article proposes is … have you ever had so many perfect cocktail options, that you couldn’t choose just one? If the answer is no, you’re missing out. Luckily for you, Mambo Italiano on main street in downtown Steamboat offers just that. 

Drinking holes are plentiful in Routt County. The saying “work hard, play hard,” may not have been directly coined to describe Steamboat, but it might as well have. The Italian classics at Mambo’s dare you to step outside the box and try something new, or stick with the tried-and-true drinks we’ve come to know and love.



The Italian Bird 

Aged Pacifica rum / Campari / Fino sherry / honey water / sage 

A light, sweet and colorful beverage. The house-made honey water is basically a simple syrup using local honey from the Bear River Apiary. 



Orange & Fennel Martini

St. George all-purpose vodka / cappelletti / blood orange / orange / fennel shrub / kumquat / smoked orange bitter

Newer to the restaurant, this martini goes down smooth. While the cocktail menu is ever-evolving, this newly added staff favorite at Mambo’s secured its place on the list. 



Caffè e Crema Martini

House-brewed espresso / Frangelico / Cool Swan dairy cream liqueur / St. George all-purpose vodka / chocolate bitters / coffee bean

Mambo Italiano’s take on the espresso martini. White chocolate, dark chocolate and coffee make up the flavor profiles of this crazy delicious, almost milkshake-like martini.



The Venetian Spritz 

Capelotti orange bitter / prosecco / soda / orange

A simple Italian classic. “When visiting Florence, this is what everyone is drinking before dinner, you drink a lot of these before moving on to wine,” says Hannah Hopkins, co-owner of Mambo’s.




Paloma Italiana

Suerte reposado tequila / Contrado red bitters / pink grapefruit juice / lime / agave / pompelmo soda / mint 

These refreshing drinks are designed to activate the appetite for dinner, while going easy on the palate. Great for any season.




Sipsmith gin / sweet vermouth / Contrado red bitters / orange peel

A classic Italian cocktail dating back to 1919. Mambo Italiano’s modern twist on this strong cocktail packs a little punch. Served stirred, not shaken. 




Basil Hayden’s bourbon / Contrado red bitters / sweet vermouth / orange peel 

The bittersweet interplay between the bitters and vermouth remains, but the whiskey changes the storyline. Where the Negroni is crisp and lean, the Boulevardier is rich and intriguing.



Manhattan Nero

Knob Creek rye whiskey / café Vecchio amaro / black walnut bitters / orange peel / amarena cherry

Manhattan Nero means a black Manhattan in Italian, and that’s exactly what it is. One of the most popular drinks on the list. “People go crazy for it,” Hopkins says. 


Mambo’s offers a variety of modern Italian classic cocktails. For more information visit

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