Amaros (and digestifs)

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lots of "what if Negroni but with Angostura Bitters" type recipes

seandalai, Saturday, 12 January 2019 01:49 (ten months ago) link

I got into Amari via Fernet but it turns out the only Fernet I really like is Branca (I have near-full/going-nowhere bottles of Fernet 1882, Fernet Stock and this weird creature). When I left a previous job the leaving gift from my very thoughtful colleagues was a bottle of Rigas Balsam (also going nowhere)...

All-time favourites are probably: Cynar, Meletti, Suze, Fernet Branca. I have some others lying around (Montenegro, Nonino, Campari, Aperol) that only really see cocktail use.

seandalai, Saturday, 12 January 2019 01:50 (ten months ago) link

tbh cocktail use is my main interest here, altho I drink Fernet Branca straight

sleeve, Saturday, 12 January 2019 02:00 (ten months ago) link

hmmm, yeah I am not interested in any cocktail book. I don't really make cocktails at home and usually will just drink things with soda water if anything. Even the aperol I think is too sweet if I do it with prosecco/spritz so will just use soda water.

Yerac, Saturday, 12 January 2019 02:03 (ten months ago) link

Ha, opposite xpost.

Yerac, Saturday, 12 January 2019 02:03 (ten months ago) link

i def buy them for cocktails and pulling off specific recipes, what the heck, they're shelf-stable and have cool-looking bottles. i'm not opposed to drinking them straight and should probably do so more often since the shelving unit i use for liquor is pretty much maxed. need to reorganize it and shift some underutilized stuff to the basement shelves asap.

call all destroyer, Saturday, 12 January 2019 02:10 (ten months ago) link

yeah, I can only focus on so much at once and just don't even want to get into trying to keep a full bar at home. 80% of my space goes to wine with the other 20% basically brown spirits.

Yerac, Saturday, 12 January 2019 02:19 (ten months ago) link

many xposts, jaymc Do you have the Amaro book. I had thought about getting it over the holidays but I thought it might be cocktail recipe heavy which I wasn't so interested in that part of it.

Yep. I did buy it for the cocktail recipes, which make up about half the book, but there's also a substantial section (maybe about a quarter of the book) that just lists and describes various amari.

jaymc, Saturday, 12 January 2019 03:57 (ten months ago) link

this weird creature

Ha, I bought that (Salmiakki Dala) for my brother for Christmas a couple of years ago (though I don't think I realized it was produced by Bittermens).

jaymc, Saturday, 12 January 2019 03:59 (ten months ago) link

I had Nardini Tagliatella, which the seller said was a mix of a lot of different tap drippings. It was good, but sweeter than I normally like.

I am doing dry January so no amaro for me this month.

Virginia Plain, Saturday, 12 January 2019 05:58 (ten months ago) link

VP we will be around all Feb. so we can have an amari tasting then.

Yerac, Saturday, 12 January 2019 13:06 (ten months ago) link

At the grocery store today I also found this other chilean amaro (I did not buy) that was an alpenkrauter? For some reason I can only find a pic on a flickr. The label was cute. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nirvinochile/7423596160

Yerac, Saturday, 12 January 2019 15:53 (ten months ago) link

Yes, Yerac, I am down for February amaro tasting! I love Amaros so much. One thing I really like is having it for the last drink of the night, as it calms me down and teaches my brain to stop drinking, unlike most liquors.

Virginia Plain, Sunday, 13 January 2019 03:04 (ten months ago) link

Yeah, I don't really know if they help digestion but I drink them too instead of opening a bottle of wine. I mixed the sibilla and the araucano i got last night together.

Yerac, Sunday, 13 January 2019 12:36 (ten months ago) link

are we in a trendy amaro moment? overheard a friend-of-friends talking about them on friday night and got some tips on where to buy locally and some recommendations

mh, Sunday, 13 January 2019 16:45 (ten months ago) link

Hmm maybe. I was shocked when I learned several years ago how popular negronis were in the US and maybe it's a natural side effect of that, going away from fruity/sweet drinks to more savory/bitter. I noticed a lot of US artisanal amari when I was in the wine/spirits stores last year.

Yerac, Sunday, 13 January 2019 17:03 (ten months ago) link

they've been bubbling under for a couple years but yeah i think they might be hitting another level based on my own very anecdotal experiences

call all destroyer, Sunday, 13 January 2019 17:04 (ten months ago) link

I've never done tasting notes on an amaro before and I don't have benchmarks here to start from but I went based upon other alcohols.

Araucano ~$10USD in chile
Medium amber brown, clear. On the nose it's very cola, sassafras, clove, cinnamon bark, cocoa powder, vanilla, orange oil, a little bit of menthol. Palate is cinnamon cola, sassafras, allspice, orange peel, woody. Medium+ sugar, medium+ acidity, medium+ bitterness. Medium finish.

Yerac, Sunday, 13 January 2019 19:47 (ten months ago) link

next up we got amaro ciociaro. mine is an old bottle i actually i made a special trip to astor wines & spirits for back before this stuff was in wider distribution. back in the day it was a preferred substitute for amer picon for people in the u.s.a. who were trying to make the brooklyn cocktail, though i think there are several more options now.

smells like orange and cloves to me. that holds in the taste as well though there's some brown sugar and another flavor i'd describe as "granulated white sugar" which is interesting. i think of ciociaro as one of the more fruit-forward (well really orange-forward) amari at least among the basic brown ones. there's another one on my shelf coming up that blows it away in that regard but it's still pleasant, with moderate sweetness, light bitterness, and a less gloopy mouthfeel.

call all destroyer, Monday, 14 January 2019 19:44 (ten months ago) link

I think one of these amaros is the equivalent of smooth move with me. I tried to look it up to see if that was a common side effect. nope.

Yerac, Wednesday, 16 January 2019 16:49 (nine months ago) link

Indeed, I'm pretty sure I bought the CioCiaro a few years ago to make the Brooklyn and other drinks calling for Amer Picon. I don't know what else is easily substitutable for Amer Picon, though there a few DIY recipes out there. For instance, Jamie Boudreau of Canon in Seattle makes one with a base of Ramazzotti, orange tincture, and orange bitters.

jaymc, Wednesday, 16 January 2019 16:58 (nine months ago) link

My spouse is in Rome and so far has picked up Diesus and Braulio Riserva and then also some more Sibilla because it is 28euro there (as opposed to the $~50 in the US).

Yerac, Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:09 (nine months ago) link

Also got Dell'Erborista (the 70-75cl bottle for 19euro!) and San Marco Sarandrea. I get excited about these things because the main thing I do when I/we travel is look for wine/liquor and spices.

Yerac, Thursday, 17 January 2019 18:13 (nine months ago) link

I wish more liqueurs were available in small bottles. I want a taste before I spring for 750 ml.

The Non-Verbal Signs Your Mod Is Giving You (WmC), Thursday, 17 January 2019 18:29 (nine months ago) link

I think Italy does have amari in mini bottles. I tasted a bunch once at a friend's house. Otherwise the next time you go to a bar and it's relatively slow I would think most bartenders would give you a 1 oz pour to taste especially if you are going to get a cocktail anyway. I sometimes have places do half pours/split glasses for me or a friend if I want to create my own flights of something. But it's usually during quietish times and i always make sure to tip well for the annoyance of extra glasses. And if the bartender is good they will be happy to talk about whatever it is you want to try.

Yerac, Thursday, 17 January 2019 18:44 (nine months ago) link

i like to read this thread just for the names of the drinks. idk what most of them are but their names are very soothing!

i have enjoyed several herbal/herbaceous digestifs and love anisette but otherwise i am reading for sentences like My spouse is in Rome and so far has picked up Diesus and Braulio Riserva and then also some more Sibilla because it sounds so idyllic and i need that right now ;)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 17 January 2019 19:01 (nine months ago) link

I think Italy does have amari in mini bottles.

OK I'm actively gonna look for these when we're there

sleeve, Thursday, 17 January 2019 20:13 (nine months ago) link

Ha! I know I said it before but they have the prettiest labels. I was going by some of this article about what to look for in Rome. Sadly the San Simone could not be found this trip. That font/typeface *is* great. https://punchdrink.com/articles/guide-to-smuggling-rare-italian-amaro-campari-cask-tales-braulio/

The Diesus Amaro del Frata has the same monk-like bottle shape as Frangelico.

Yerac, Thursday, 17 January 2019 20:16 (nine months ago) link

the one with the deer on it!
the labels + the names is like asmr for people who like concoctions

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 17 January 2019 20:19 (nine months ago) link

Years ago on a vacation to Maine I stopped at (New Hampshire?) state-run liquor store and discovered Chambord and St. Germain via mini bottles. I'll try just about anything that way, down to the most cheap-ass peach-pecan whiskey. xxp

The Non-Verbal Signs Your Mod Is Giving You (WmC), Thursday, 17 January 2019 20:20 (nine months ago) link

amari labels are the absolute best. i transfer a lot of liqueurs and small-quantity stuff to standard 375ml bottles and store the original bottles in the basement, but i can’t bring myself to do it with the amari.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 17 January 2019 20:32 (nine months ago) link

one month passes...

I went a little nuts in Atlanta this weekend: full bottles of Nonino, Averna and Cynar, a 375ml bottle of Fernet-Branca, and a 50ml mini of Amaro de Toscana. I'll have a tasting session this evening.

ILX Moderator: It's Like a Pressure Wash for Your Insides (WmC), Tuesday, 19 February 2019 14:11 (eight months ago) link

I tried Averna for the first time with virginia plain last night. Very cola. Also bought a bottle of Sfumato that I have not opened yet.

Yerac, Tuesday, 19 February 2019 16:50 (eight months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I took a pic of my current drink cart and growing amari collection.
https://ibb.co/BCCjmZ1

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 16:46 (eight months ago) link

i can see it if i open in a new tab but obv the embed isn't working

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 16:50 (eight months ago) link

I am really bad at the internet.

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 16:51 (eight months ago) link

had montenegro after a good meal on saturday night. very nice digestif. wish there were more amari available in the liquor stores i frequent

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 18:07 (eight months ago) link

teeny tiny eno! (hearts emoticon)
yeah, am in the same situation wrt nearby liquor stores so got a bottle of Amaro Dell'Etna delivered. it's. freaking. exquisite.

The immortal Hydra Viridisimma (outdoor_miner), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 18:50 (eight months ago) link

That's a lot of Aperol. But you never know when the next Aperol Famine will hit, so you're set.

27 Discounts ILXors Get Only If They Know (WmC), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 18:52 (eight months ago) link

Thank you for reposting! One of the pics was showing up for me, who knows?

Not all of that are amari. Yeah we have a lot of aperol because it was on sale for like $10usd a bottle one month.

Yerac, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 19:03 (eight months ago) link

good reminder to taste montenegro which also happens to be sitting right on my counter. on the lighter-bodied end of things, this one is cool for having a unique and unmistakable floral note. i'd characterize it as dried rose petals. other than that, caramelly sweetness and mild bitterness. worth having, hard to substitute.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 23:47 (eight months ago) link

two months pass...

my tasting notes from our trip to Europe (and back here in the US, I think I'm hooked on this stuff):

Holland (beginning of trip) - purchased in a German supermarket:
Romanetti Alle Herbe amaro: day 1 tasting: orange, chocolate, more sweet than bitter. Day 2 tasting: "this reminds me of something... wait.... Coca-Cola!"

in Italy:
San Simone: medicinal smell, mint orange chocolate notes, not as medicinal taste, more bitter, Fernet Branca vibes but lighter

Amaro Silvano: wtf is even going on here! Allspice comes first, then clove cinnamon and other dark spice vibes, sweet before bitter. Tiny hint of anise? Like a pfeffernusse cookie turned into an amaro. I think this was our overall favorite.

Vecchio Amaro Del Capo - ice cold, super complex. Anise, licorice, herbs, dark caramel. Another favorite.

Amaro Lucano - these are starting to blur together, but this is more medicinal, like Jaeger lite. Lotsa sweet finish notes

Amaro Jefferson: nutmeg nutmeg nutmeg, then some other spices, light color and flavor, yummm

Averna - another immediate "coca-cola" hit. Cloves? Some chocolate finish notes, heat from alcohol, spices

Amaro Montenegro - much more floral, cinnamon spice finish, lighter. Odd & very complex herbal/medicinal overtones. Served over ice, not sure if that's standard.

Holland (end of trip):
Schierker Feuerstein krauter-halb-bitter - from Germany, duh. Medicinal Jaeger vibes again, quite bitter. Only 70 proof, it was a bit slushy right out of the freezer. How can this have more heat taste than the others?!?! It definitely does. Not as many spice/citrus/chocolate notes as the others.

Cocchi Amaro - served over ice with orange slice (not peel). Much lighter, almost sour, really this is a bitter red vermouth. None of the thicker, denser, almost syrupy aspects of the others. After eating orange slice: definitely a light red vermouth, but super fancy and refreshing. Hardly any sweet notes at all.

back in America, still tasting:
Bruto Americano -the most bitter, but is this even an amaro? No thickness or sweet or syrupy aspects. Cherry, bark, medicine, light taste with dark color. It tastes like Laurie's digestive bitter tincture!!

Amaro Nonino - syrupy, cinnamon, kinda light color and flavor even with the heaviness, honey notes, also super bitter, very good.

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Wednesday, 8 May 2019 13:51 (six months ago) link

Nice! I have tasted uh three of those.

I have a bottle of Bruto Americano but I've never worked out what to do with it.

seandalai, Wednesday, 8 May 2019 20:57 (six months ago) link

Sounds like a great trip, sleeve.

I will be in New Orleans on 6/1, trip planned at the last minute, and I have some liquor searching planned. Keife & Co. are hoping to have Zucca back in stock by the time I get there, and I will look for Silvano and Jefferson.

WmC, Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:12 (six months ago) link

xp it was good just over ice, I could see an orange garnish as well but I think it works fine by itself

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:16 (six months ago) link

I still regret not picking up a bottle of Bitterol (same label design as Aperol, clearly made by same people) - anyone had that?

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:17 (six months ago) link

Ohhh, I am interested in that amaro jefferson, will be on the lookout. Looked like a great trip!

Yerac, Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:31 (six months ago) link

thanks, yeah we had a great time.

the Jefferson was a real standout, I want some! I need to check the local store that carries such things.

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:46 (six months ago) link

I'm sure there's a better name than "beer negroni" but beer + Campari + vermouth is lovely

britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Friday, 1 November 2019 21:18 (one week ago) link

I've only tried with lighter lager-ish beers though

britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Friday, 1 November 2019 21:18 (one week ago) link

It would probably be better with kronenbourg. As ever I am a grumpy old bastard who things hops should be in balance with the other flavours.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Friday, 1 November 2019 21:34 (one week ago) link

I was give a bottle of Aromes de Montserrat it’s a on the chartreuse spectrum but tastes more cedary. Definitely not great for drink it on its own, what should I mix it into?

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 10:00 (one week ago) link

Reading this thread in a fancy resto just having a couple refreshments. ordered fgti's smokey mezcal Montenegro rec. Am fairly uninitiated in mezcal but this is rly lovely!

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Friday, 8 November 2019 02:37 (six days ago) link

This thread is akin to the floyd - rules!

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Friday, 8 November 2019 02:38 (six days ago) link


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