Amaro, not to be confused with Amore, Amarone, Amaretto, or Amortization (which in Scabble is a 12-letter word btw, and you would score big! )
The Amaro we are talking about today is a type of Italian herbal liqueur that is typically consumed as a digestif, enjoyed after a meal to aid in digestion or as an accompanying ingredient in the some famously delicious cocktails. The word "amaro" in Italian means "bitter," and these liqueurs are known for their complex and bittersweet flavours.
Guess what it’s made of?
Amaro liqueurs are made by infusing a variety of herbs, roots, spices, and botanicals into a base spirit, which is often a neutral grain alcohol or wine.
The exact recipe and ingredients used to make amaro can vary significantly from one brand or region to another, and each amaro has its unique combination of flavours. Some common ingredients found in amaro recipes include bitter orange peel, gentian, quinine, herbs like wormwood and thyme, and various other aromatic botanicals. The infusion process can take weeks or even months to extract the flavours and aromas from these ingredients.
Take your pick!
There is plenty of choice out there when you decide to try, or expand your liquor cabinet and add some more amaro. The folks at Liquor.com shared their thoughts on 9 of the most popular brands. From Montenegro, to Averna, to Ninino and Ramazzotti, the many brands available offer some distinct differences. Here are just five key distinctions you might find among different amaro liqueurs:
Flavor Profile: Amaro liqueurs can vary widely in terms of their flavour profiles. Some are characterized by their intense bitterness and herbal notes, while others are sweeter and have a more pronounced citrus or fruitiness. The specific herbs, spices, and botanicals used in each amaro contribute to its unique flavour.
Bitterness: The level of bitterness can be a significant distinguishing factor. Some amari are extremely bitter, while others are milder in this regard. The choice of bittering agents, such as gentian or quinine, and their quantities influence the bitterness of the final product.
Sweetness: Amaro liqueurs can range from quite sweet to relatively dry. The sweetness is typically achieved by adding sugar or a sweetening agent during the production process. Some amari are syrupy and sweet, while others have a drier, more bitter-sweet profile.
Ingredients: The specific herbs, roots, spices, and botanicals used in each amaro recipe can vary significantly. These ingredients are often closely guarded secrets of the producers, and they give each amaro its distinctive taste.
Regional Variations: Different regions of Italy have their own traditional amaro recipes. For example, Amaro Averna is known for its sweeter, more approachable flavor and is produced in Sicily, while Amaro Montenegro has a more citrus-forward profile and is produced in Bologna. The regional influence on amaro production can be quite pronounced.
Amaro, is made in various Italian regions, each with its unique style. Notable regions and their characteristics include:
Sicily: Known for sweeter amari like Averna.
Lombardy: Home to citrus-forward options like Amaro Montenegro.
Piedmont: Home to distinctive brands like Amaro Ramazzotti and Fernet Branca.
Campania: The birthplace of smoother options like Amaro Lucano.
Veneto: Renowned for the well-balanced Amaro Nonino.
Now, you have the basic understanding of amaro, care to learn more?
First you should visit your favorite barstool and try some!
Next, explore the enchanting world of Amaro and other exceptional spirits and Dive into the realm of flavors with a Spirits class at Statera Academy! Embark on a delightful journey around the globe, discovering the art of spirits. Cheers to your exploration adventure! 🥃✨