Amaro isn’t just a punny fill in for amore. Amaro is a bittersweet digestif that is the final touch to close a delicious meal. It’s sort of like the last shot of a really incredible film, completing the sensory experience with a memorable touch that arouses pleasure with purpose. In this article, we bring to you the 15 best amaro cocktails to add finishing touch to your next dinner party!
We also put together a list of 25 best winter cocktails that you may want to give a read.
Some of the finest traditions of drinking have come into fashion again, such as artisanal bitters, which have been rediscovered and expanded upon with new flavors. Amaro is in the same boat, or should we say gondola in this case. Unlike bitters, amaro does not need to be used with caution in tiny doses. Amaro can be used as a base for the cocktail, providing depth in whichever flavor best complements your meal.
Amaros come like relationships: some are intense, some are bittersweet, while others are precious. Here are a few favorites to get started.
15 Best Amaro Cocktails for Your Next Dinner Party
1. Amaro Nonino
Amaro Nonino comes from the land of Fuili, in northern Italy. A complex blend of herbs, spices and roots including saffron, licorice, rhubarb, sweet and bitter orange and more, this amaro will make your guests amorous. On the intensity scale, this drink is softer and paler than most amari (the plural of amaro). Aged for five years in oak barrels, this reddish digestif is the perfect amaro to get your feet wet.
2. Amaro Angostura
Like bitters, amaro is a blend of intense earthy flavors traditionally made to smooth the digestive process. So it would only be natural that one of the oldest of bitters makers, Angostura, would decide to take a swing at amaro. Amaro Angostura is a less concentrated version of their bitters with a lush and exotic feel. Some say it tastes like Christmas in a glass with flavors such as cinnamon, dark chocolate, and notes of licorice.
3. Fernet Branca
The Gigi Hadid of amari, Fernet Branca is today’s trendiest choice. Intense and medicinal, this herbal liqueur is famous for its origin in Milan. Like the best liqueurs, only a select few know the original formula, a trade secret known only to the Fernet Branca president, Niccolo, who is said to personally measure out the aromatics during the production process. If you want to try the o.g. amaro, this is the one to find on the shelves.
4. Cio Ciaro
You will surely always look for an Amaro that serves all the purposes and can be consumed no matter what the season. Cio Ciaro is a very rich in flavor amaro which is soft yet does not overpower a cocktail. You will get hints of sweet citrusy notes and all of it goes really well with spirits like whiskey and other rums. This should always be in the list of your winter cocktails.
5. Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
The Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is an all-rounder. You can either have it before your meal or after your meal. It adapts really well to situation. This is a grapes based amaro that you can have on the rocks along with some fresh mint and orange peel. There is also a drink in which you will be able to sense some earthy herbs and spices. At 48$ it is certainly not a very bad deal.
6. Cynar 70 Proof Amaro
The Cynar 70 is an Italian bitter liqueur often considered a blend that is very popular with bartenders. It comes with an artichoke label. Known to be made using 13 different herbs and plants. It has had a growing popularity among people who love bitter drinks. The best way to enjoy Cynar 70 is over the ice.
7. Amaro Montenegro
This drink is called as the liqueur of virtues. The Amaro Montenegro is also one of the oldest amaro recipes and has been named after Italian princess. Not only does it have cherries, coriander and orange peel but that's what makes it more aromatic. At just 27$, it is a great deal. Make sure you have it some cheese.
8. Varnelli Amaro Dell'Emborista
The Varnelli Amaro Dell'Emborista is a bitter blend that is made using special herbs, roots and barks which were made over wood fire. All of it is then sweetened using honey that comes from the Sibillini mountains. Not only is this drink less boozy but goes well with ice and as a after supper drink. This drink doesn't come filtered due to which you get a cloudy amber hue when poured in the glass.
9. Amaro Lucano
By now, you may have noticed that all the popular and major Amaro's have their origin in an Italian family. Amaro lucano is one such bitters that has been kept a secret. Since the name suggests, this drink comes from the lucania region in Italy. One sip and you will immediately be able to feel the bittersweet taste with hints of spices used in baking process.
10. Cardamaro Amaro
This drink comes from Moscato and the main ingredient that gives this drink its distinctive taste is a plant known as cardoon which is a thistly like plant that comes from the artichoke family. If you are someone who loves to savor different types of drinks and has a really developed taste then you should definetly try the cardamaro.
11. Averna Amaro Liqueur
When it comes to Averna Amaro Liqueur, everyone who is aware of the Italian bitter digestifs knows about it already. It has been popular since the 1990s. It's made using an infusion of mediterranean herbs, fruits and spices but exact portion has been kept secret. It is aromatic and also has a bittersweet taste to it. The drink is dark brown in color and apart from being bitters, gets a hint of some caramel in it.
12. Braulio Amaro
The braulio amaro could also be one of the oldest Amaro's that we have. it has been produced since 130 years now and comes from a region that is around the border of Italy and Switzerland. You can have it after a heavy meal that will help in better digestion. At 50$, it is a great drink which has intense minty flavor with subtle hints of juniper and wormwood.
13. Hanky Panky
As you know, people who love bitter cocktails have a taste that's acquired. You need to build your palette for it. Hanky Panky is a classic drink that is made using sweet vermouth and gin. You can call it a bitter drink but that should not mean it's only for the bold people. Its best for people who want to get a feel of fernet branca.
14. Moai Spritz
Whenever you will listen to an artichoke liqueur, the face you will make is going to be a very weird one because we don't listen to an artichoke drink based very often. The Moai Spritz is an thistle forward spirit that comes with dark run and falernum. It brings in the culmination of mouth-coating flavors like licrorice, clove, coffee and molasses.
15. Ramazzotti & Black Cherry Soda
Ever wondered if you could drink any neat Amaro. Ramazzotti & Black Cheery soda is one such amaro cocktail that's loaded with herbs, plant roots and has a lot of aromatic flavors. You can almost smell and taste the citrus peel which are blend together with cardomom, cinnamon, myrrh and ginger. This comes in last to our list of 15 best amaro cocktails.
The perfect host succeeds not in cooking the perfect meal, but in spurring a series of special moments. Flowers, candles, and the perfectly crafted amaro cocktail will woo the companion of your choice at your next event. Don’t forget the Italian toast, salute!
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