Amaros (and digestifs)

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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 (ten 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 (nine 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 (nine 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

your notes on montenegro and lucano are very simpatico with mine.

i’ve only been drinking beer and wine recently. need to sneak some amari back in there.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:49 (six months ago) link

Ugh, I am not drinking the rest of the month. It sucks. I have to live vicariously.

Yerac, Wednesday, 8 May 2019 22:25 (six months ago) link

OK I found a bottle of Vecchio Amaro Del Capo at the local store, it was one of the coolest ones we tried and it's also from Calabria where we spent most of our time (my wife's family is from there). Into the freezer it goes for special occasions.

I also made an impulse buy of something I saw and liked the label of, but didn't get to try - Amaro Ciociaro:

https://kindredcocktails.com/sites/kindredcocktails.com/files/ingredients/amaro-ciociaro.jpg

poured a little into a shot glass to taste straight, uhhhh this is the most baffling yet. still some bitter notes but massive, upfront sugar/thick/syrup hits, like bubblegum/toasted coconut/burnt caramel/cotton candy kinda tastes. too sweet!

we diluted the rest of the shot glass with water and it improved a lot, you could start to taste the floral notes. I think their suggestion of "over ice with lemon peel" sounds good, something to balance out that (delicious, fancy) bubble gum madness. note sure how best to use this, time for research.

https://kindredcocktails.com/ingredient/ciociaro

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:08 (six months ago) link

yeah, usually when I have been tasting these I do it straight first and then with a little bit of seltzer to kind of figure out how I prefer things. I don't like the overly sweet/luscious ones because I am not making cocktails and I don't tend to like sweet things.

Yerac, Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:23 (six months ago) link

That 8 Amaro Sazerac in that link seems crazy. I want to try it.

Yerac, Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:36 (six months ago) link

I would have to buy like five things!

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:38 (six months ago) link

If I can remember I am going to ask a bar to make it for me.

Yerac, Thursday, 9 May 2019 14:40 (six months ago) link

I had that mini of Amaro di Toscana last night on a couple of ice cubes. It's pretty good! It's somewhere between the cola + spices profile of Averna with just the right amount of Fernet-Branca's mentholated bitterness.

WmC, Monday, 13 May 2019 14:59 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/64642153_10158468303918709_7106172967763050496_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_oc=AQmqAwG-KnMK5qcSg_hObgET8d89-_T4MQoYxknn492EQcWoBW9iQIdbB8PNGxgEGC0&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=01c7b4eec5d5a3d696e248808b473565&oe=5D80F331

Hoodoo chicory liqueur, from Cathead Distillery in Jackson MS. Toffee, coffee, chocolate, hints of pie spices, bitterness obviously. After finishing it and the glass is drying it smells like cinnamon.

I am curious (george) (slight return) (WmC), Thursday, 20 June 2019 23:57 (five months ago) link

That looks really good. If I had a sweet tooth I would make a syrupy reduction and use it to drizzle on pie or ice cream. Or make it into ice cream. Would that be too bitter to put into your coffee?

Yerac, Friday, 21 June 2019 01:48 (five months ago) link

I think it would be perfect in coffee.

I am curious (george) (slight return) (WmC), Friday, 21 June 2019 02:00 (five months ago) link

mmmm

Ambient Police (sleeve), Friday, 21 June 2019 02:20 (five months ago) link

I have not tried anything new but I re-tried this badass local calisaya, still delicious, golden spicy chinchona

http://elixircraftspirits.com/

Ambient Police (sleeve), Friday, 21 June 2019 02:24 (five months ago) link

four months pass...

I bought some Picon today, based on hype that I've seen about it. It's readily available here (I bought it at an Asian supermarket that I frequent, but it's not a speciality item). It tastes great! But I gather from this thread that it's a cocktail thing. Do any of you have particular recommendations on things to make with it?

L'assie (Euler), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 15:55 (one month ago) link

picon is mostly famous in america at least for being a key ingredient in the brooklyn cocktail, itself mostly famous imo for being named after brooklyn. the brooklyn formulation you'll see most is 2 oz. of rye with a 1-oz. mix of dry vermouth, picon, and maraschino. this results in an *extremely* dry cocktail that is more bracing than it is tasty.

jim meehan proposed a revision to the brooklyn in one of his books, basing his case on the fact that instead of dry vermouth, cocktails developed in the early 20th century might have been using blanc vermouth. you could make his formulation with 2 oz. rye, .75 oz. blanc vermouth, and a quarter oz. each of picon and maraschino. we still don't have picon here but there are several alternate options--i've made meehan's version with one of them and i think it's great.

in general, picon and picon-like formulations will do well with any spicy rye or herbacious gin formula you want to come up with. also, it's been years since i had a picon bier in paris but i wouldn't turn one down right now.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 17:30 (one month ago) link

yeah the one I bought says "Picon bière" and the recipe on the back is to add it to a beer. I'm not averse to that, but I'm more interested in cocktails. I read about Picon punch, and I'm going to make some tonight. An herbaceous gin combo sounds good though.

L'assie (Euler), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 17:55 (one month ago) link

Its heyday has passed but eGullet is a good place to check for discussion of exotic drinks going back to the 00s when craft cocktail ppl were discovering them afresh and trying to work out what to do with them. There's an Amer Picon thread: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/9916-amer-picon-torani-amer

britain's secret sauce (seandalai), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 21:36 (one month ago) link

oh i posted this in a cocktail thread a couple of weeks ago but if anyone is idle there are so many wonderful vintage cocktail books archived online here.

https://euvs-vintage-cocktail-books.cld.bz/

Yerac, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 21:44 (one month ago) link

that egullet thread brings me back. they were at the tail end of their prime when i found the place but there's a wealth of info on there. some really incredible science of shaking and stirring posts that still inform how i mix drinks. sincere 2000s message boarding at its best.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 31 October 2019 01:07 (one month ago) link

holy crap Yerac that website is nuts. i love perusing stuff like that. thx

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Friday, 1 November 2019 15:27 (one month ago) link

I love Picon biere, and I thought it was one of the few remaining things that you still can't easily buy in the U.S. (a friend brings back a bottle from Paris every few years). Has that changed?

Last night we had some of the Nocino (walnut liqueur) that I brought back from Switzerland in like '06, it's still delicious.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 1 November 2019 15:34 (one month ago) link

still no picon in the u.s. as far as i know

call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 15:48 (one month ago) link

Yeah, you still can't get the original Amer Picon in the U.S., as far as I know. Where are you, Euler?

There are a couple of substitutes that I'm aware of -- the most common is Torani Amer. Also, some people just use other amari, like CioCiaro or Ramazzotti, for recipes that call for Amer Picon.

jaymc, Friday, 1 November 2019 15:48 (one month ago) link

(CioCiaro is what I've personally used to make Brooklyns and picon bieres.)

jaymc, Friday, 1 November 2019 15:49 (one month ago) link

ah, thanks, I was struggling with how to use CioCiaro upthread, never thought of using amari boilermaker style

Book Doula (sleeve), Friday, 1 November 2019 15:52 (one month ago) link

euler is in paris iirc

bigallet china-china is another good substitute--even more pronounced orange flavors than ciociaro.

call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 15:53 (one month ago) link

Yeah, I get the impression that the orange notes are key. Jamie Boudreau (of Canon in Seattle) uses Ramazzotti but mixed with orange bitters and orange tincture.

jaymc, Friday, 1 November 2019 16:04 (one month ago) link

Golden Moon Distillery in Colorado makes a Picon they claim is faithful to the original recipe:

Golden Moon Amer dit Picon is produced using the finest hand-selected herbs, spices and botanicals available. We have recreated the original processes and acquired the original type of ingredients used by legendary distiller Gaetan Picon to create his amer (bitters) in the 1830’s. Bottled at 78 Proof, Golden Moon Amer dit Picon is the perfect ingredient for the legendary Picon Punch, the Brittany cocktail, and a host of other classic cocktails. It can also be enjoyed by itself.

http://goldenmoondistillery.com/ourspirits

Looks like they've got distribution local to me, going to see who stocks it.

by the light of the burning Citroën, Friday, 1 November 2019 16:18 (one month ago) link

no distro near me but that's awesome!

call all destroyer, Friday, 1 November 2019 16:23 (one month ago) link

yeah I live in Paris

I really like Picon! I've been mixing it with grenadine and soda water, sort of a Picon Punch but without brandy.

I think I need to buy a shaker if I'm gonna keep making cocktails. Stirring it with a butter knife doesn't work that well.

L'assie (Euler), Friday, 1 November 2019 17:19 (one month ago) link


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