Amari (the plural of amaro, the Italian word for “bitter”) are a class of bitter Italian liqueurs principally employed for their digestive qualities, either before or after a meal (aperitivo/digestivo). This cocktail comes from Brooklyn’s Grand Army Bar by way of the “Spritz” cocktail book, and reimagines a traditional Italian aperitivo as a French-influenced shandy. Add cracked ice and top with soda. Out of those two, I would try the Ramazzotti. It was here that the Paolucci family began producing this bitter liqueur in 1873. If you haven’t tried Campari, I would recommend beginning with the Americano. Get our Prosecco Negroni recipe. The most bitter I know of is Fernet Branca. I’ve been drinking Campari for years, but have had a couple of amari recently that has gotten me interested in exploring. Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week. After all, amaro simply means "bitter" and Campari says "bitter" right there on the bottle. Get our Slushy Negroni recipe. I lead a culinary tour through Sicily every year and each time I find at least a half a dozen I have never had before. Great for bottled cocktails as well! It’s like a grown-up girl strawberry daquiri. It’s been fairly popular ever since—mostly due to the notion of combining it with the dry Italian sparkling wine called Prosecco–the Aperol Spritz. (Talk about cornering the market.). Try this Negroni-Manhattan mash-up for something with a rounder, richer profile to balance out the bitter Campari. It was conceived by Fratelli Barbieri in Padova in 1919 and consists of an infusion of bitter and sweet oranges, rhubarb and a secret mixture of herbs and roots. Campari also has a strong flavour when compared to Aperol. ( Log Out /  The other series you’ve done are great, too. time. DrinkUpNY is one source: http://www.drinkupny.com/Amaro_CioCiaro_p/s0764.htm. While this rendition features rye for a little punch of spice, you can also substitute bourbon for something a bit smoother. If you enjoyed this article, please read Amaro 102: Beyond Basic Bitters, which explores another eight Italian amari available stateside, and Amaro 103: Advanced Amari, which covers nine more, and Amaro 104, which covers yet another nine! (the same people who make the saffron liqueur Strega). Rinse glass with Luxardo Bitter, discard. Thanks! it doesn’t contain any bittering agents to my knowledge. From the bits I’ve gathered, it’s pretty similar to making cocktail bitters, only with the addition of sugar and oak aging. Although not an Italian amaro, I would highly recommend Zwack Unicum, which is a Hungarian digestive. Just had an affogato with a shot of CiaoCiaro at Loanda in SF. Unlike many of northern Italy’s aperitivo liqueurs, Aperol isn’t exactly red, but rather reddish orange. They are sweeter than a Fernet but they don’t have the medicinal taste. It’s hard to explain, but beyond its ample street cred, it’s got a few things going for it. Learn how your comment data is processed. Have you tried the Nonino Quintessentia Amaro? Sorry, Otello–I don’t have any resources on the making of amari. Because the whole cocktail is light enough for summer sipping, the mellow amaro is clear on the forefront with a dry citrusy backdrop and only a whisper of velvety dairy. Both Campari and Aperol are part of the amaro family (amaro means “bitter” in Italian), which are often consumed neat as an after-dinner digestif (or before a meal as an aperitif, designed to stimulate one’s appetite), but can also be used as ingredients in complex cocktails. Aperol Spritz fans call the heady mix of Aperol, Prosecco and soda water “sex in a glass.” Others are hip to Cynar, an artichoke-based amaro with expansive cocktail potential. I am rebuilding my home bar after a water heater failed and flooded the basement. . It’s on tap at least two San Francisco bars that I’m aware of, and there’s even a hip-hop song dedicated to it. These days in the cocktail world, there’s nothing bigger than amaro. The company remains family-owned and is today managed by the fourth generation of the Averna family. Break out from your frozen Margarita and Strawberry Daiquiri routine this summer and give this delightful, grown-up slushy a spin. The name Cynar comes from the artichoke’s Latin name: cynara scolymus. From the descriptions of the recently-released Meletti 1870, it sounds like it might also make a good Amer Picon substitute. Wow, great set of articles! Cynar is really versatile due to its herbaceous qualities and the moderate sweetness. Over the years, Fratelli Branca has remained a family-owned enterprise, and has acquired other businesses such as Carpano (Punt e Mes) and launched new products including liqueurs and grappas. How it tastes: This lower-alcohol aperitivo is like a lighter, fresher version of Aperol, with bitter orange intensity and lots of gentian on the palate. Campari, on the other hand, is significantly more bitter and boozy at 24% ABV, with a profile marked by orange zest and a pronounced herbaceousness, as well as some intense quinine, floral, and tart red berry flavors. Is there anything else about as bitter as Fernet but without the minty freshness? Unless, of course, you’re talking cocktails. Cheers. Though still technically bitter, Aperol is the distinctively sweeter liqueur of the two, with a higher sugar count. Aperol is a classic Italian amaro produced in Padua, Italy. . The Venetian Spritz has transformed over the years and is now commonly made using a sparkling white (Prosecco) and is garnished with an orange slice. At one point, the company began marketing it as a healthy choice for people to stay lean and fit! I always bring a few back in my suitcase.each year. Get our Aperol Spritz recipe. They are light, saffron-colored, less vegetal, not minty or menthol, and fairly bracing. Great articles on amari, very well done. Ramazzotti is similar to Averna in its level of sweetness and viscosity. Amari are classified as “potable bitters” unlike, for example, non-potable Angostura bitters (although you can drink them on their own: the reckless take shots, the refined drink Angostura Sours). I have had all the amari in your rundown except the Amaro CioCiaro. As much as we love them, there’s more to do with Campari than a standard Negroni variation. June 4-10, 2018. Add Campari and vermouth to an old fashioned glass. Vegetal yes, herbal yes, but I can’t say that I pick out artichoke. Nonino, Meletti, Braulio, Montenegro — sounds like a follow-up article is warranted. Coming in at a mere 11% ABV, its signature blend is dominated by bitter and sweet oranges and rhubarb, in addition to the secretly guarded ratio of herbs and spices. One of my favorite conction is Lucano Amaro with bourbon, dubonnet, cinammon syrup and a dash of fresh lemon juice. Cheers. In a battle of the adjectives, sweet doesn’t typically lose to bitter. Random question – which amaro to your knowledge has the strongest and most bitter flavour? There are quite a few books on making cocktail bitters, so I would begin there in the absence of an actual amaro book. Garnish with a flamed orange peel. It’s similar to amari and has a nice, bitter finish. Today Campari sells almost three million cases per year (about 7.1 million gallons). In 1845, Bernadino Branca began producing a bitter liqueur called Fernet Branca. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Read More: Top-Notch Negroni Recipes to Try. Aperol was created in 1919 in Padova, Italy, but the Aperol Spritz slowly grew in popularity over time. I tried a shot once and it had a very grassy aroma and taste with a sweet background. Campari is tough to describe, but bitter orange would have to be prominent in any description of its flavor. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Often brightly coloured, these bitters are amaro's happy-go-lucky sibling, intended to be consumed before dinner as The rabarbaros like Sfumato are also perceived as pretty bitter IMO partly because of the smokiness. The light, fizzy mouthfeel, the neon hue, the orange slice garnishing the rim of the glass . The very strong herbal taste keeps it from being one of my favorites. Strega and yellow Chartreuse are somewhat similar, but Strega is a bit more delicate. That smell is reflected in the aftertaste is that of fresh cut wood. Aperol. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! To each his own–it’s certainly not for everyone! Try it up also. Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass with one large ice cube. Maryse Chevriere is a certified sommelier, James Beard Award winner for, © 2021 CHOWHOUND, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. Interestingly, the Ciociaro region does not have an official border, rather it was a name given in 1927 by the fascist movement of Frosinone as an ethnic denomination for the Lazio town’s province. Do you have any recomendations, considering your incredible knowledge! Aperol is my least favorite as it is just too much orange. I am a bit older and looking for some easy on the digestive system but interesting. Get our Chardonnay Cover-Up recipe. Any sites for the actual process of making Amaro? This curious substitution came from author David Wondrich, who compared a bottle of the original Amer Picon to a variety of other amari he had on-hand: “After much nosing and not a little tasting, the closest match in aroma and taste proved to be the 60-proof Amaro Ciociaro. Get the Aperol Tequila Swizzle recipe. What is the difference btwn Ramazotti Fratelli and Felsina? https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelo_Dalle_Molle. Brothers Silvio and Luigi Barbieri thought a low alcohol amaro would fill an unmet need in the marketplace. Any thoughts on how it compares? Indeed, those ads are great, with some of them being multi-part stories, with complex plot lines and several actors, all compressed into one minute or less! Garnish with a cherry. Hello! Ramazzotti was acquired by Pernod Ricard in 1985. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. So, I started with Campari and love it, therefore, I prefer it. This simple but timeless aperitif should be a staple in the repertoire of any legit home bartender. The main flavor here is decidedly licorice, but it’s not as much as a straight up pastis liqueur. Plus it looks great on the back bar. Hi Alana, the whole name is Amaro Felsina Ramazzotti, but people usually refer to it just as Ramazzotti. The principal flavors are akin to an herbal cough drop, but altogether pleasant–menthol, eucalyptus–these are the types of flavors here, but one simply must try it to understand its greatness. I am always tempted to buy a bottle of Aperol but I'm afraid I'll regret it. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. I love CioCiaro with homemade strawberry syrup, and dark rum. Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. If you don’t like that drink, you’re probably someone who hates puppies and spends their time prepping your underground bunker for the end of the world. Not much time for fun with an attitude like that, is there? Negroni Week is a celebration of one of the world’s great cocktails and an effort to raise money for charitable causes around the world. Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a wide orange twist. ( Log Out /  Aperitivo liqueurs—bittersweet wine- or spirit-based beverages flavored by a blend of citrus, spices, roots, and herbs—have been in production in Italy for over a century and, in typical fashion, recipes vary according to region. But an Aperol-and-soda is only one-fourth as stiff as a salty dog or whatever. Of course, if you doubt the prowess of your palate, you can always differentiate the two based on color alone. Thanks so much for your comments! (And if you like shortcuts, you might want to try Sanbitter, which tastes like a lot like a Campari and soda but has no alcohol.). I recently moved to Italy, and started drinking Amari, and I love them. Of the others, Cynar, Branca, and Campari are my favorites (my first experience with a Negroni was revelatory and I’m quite addicted to them now). I’ve yet to try it! Not to sound weird but if you have ever cut fresh lumber or been in a mill, there is a smell to the air. Both can also be simply mixed with soda for a fizzy, non-alcoholic refresher. As for the Strega, it’s considered a digestivo, but not an amaro. It is also not imported to the US currently. Stir with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with cracked ice. Distributed by Campari Australia. Nice intro to Amari. Other widely known liqueurs like Campari and Aperol are often referred to in Italy as "bitters", but not as amari, just in case things weren't confusing enough. Or perhaps it was a warm and sunny Sunday in a European bar serving up Aperol spritzes en masse. Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. If you love the CioCiaro, be sure and buy a bottle of Amaro Nonino, which is covered in Amaro 102: https://inuakena.com/spirit-reviews/amaro-102-beyond-basic-bitters/. It could be argued that today’s most popular vehicle for amaro consumption in the US is the Negroni—a classic cocktail that is itself a spin on an even older drink called the Americano. Campari is slightly darker than Aperol. AlthoughI haven’t tried the historical Amer Picon, now that I’ve had the chance to taste both the Torani Amer and the CioCiaro, I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Wondrich. Its rise to prominence was due in large part to a series of 1960s TV ads starring Italian film star Ernesto Calindri. Instructions. Amaro Averna is one of the most popular Italian bitter digestifs on the market. Alberti is amber colored, complex with a nice bite, not too sweet. I carry a one ounce bottle in my pocket. You have mentioned the founders of most of them but not Cynar, so I’d like to fill you in, since the founder was a relative of mine. But an amaro can be sweet, vegetal, herbal, bitter, or anything in between. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. Nonino is a wonderful Toscano-style amaro — great balance of herbs, very complex, but expensive. Many thanks for your comment! Pretty amazing. I bought a bottle recently. Change ). Enjoy celebrating the differences between these two unique beverages in the following cocktail recipes. Traditionally, an Aperol Spritz is made with prosecco, Aperol, and club soda, with an orange or grapefruit garnish. What a legacy he’s left. I dislike the strong menthol notes in Fernet Branca. $40 | Buy. “It’s the Wild West, as there are very few rules or guidelines to its production. I am a Negroni fan big time and will say: don’t forget Negron Week coming up. I have quite a collection at this point.. Great to see that there are others out there such as myself. Stir the bourbon and Averna with ice and strain into the cocktail glass. Between the ones you listed, adding in Nonino and Zucca my home bar has become amari to the exclusion of most other liquor. Amaro Alberti. Thanks and enjoy! I am brand new to your blog and I think it is great. In the US, bitter drinks are far less popular than in the old country, but adventuresome drinkers are beginning to appreciate their complexity stateside. There is a bar in my town (Boulder, CO) that makes a tasty cocktail with Cynar and house-smoked vodka. 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