Bitter Truths: A Guide to Amari

Amaro 101

Amaro, “bitter” in Italian, is an herbal liqueur with a bitter-sweet taste, often drunk as an after-dinner aperitif. You might also know it as the Campari in a Negroni. It’s sometimes syrupy, with an alcohol content between 16% and 40%.

Viva Italia

While similar liqueurs have been produced throughout Europe, the term ‘amaro’ applies specifically to Italian-made products.

A Slight Edge

Amaro is made by macerating herbs, bark, roots, citrus peel, spices, and florals in alcohol, either a neutral spirit or wine. The filtrate is then mixed with sugar syrup, then the mixture is left to age in bottles or casks. Terroir—where the ingredients are grown—can also have an impact on the flavor.

The Perfect Meal Companion

Bitter liqueurs have been referred to as “digestivos” for ages, and that’s because many of their ingredients were thought to aid digestion. Whether there’s any scientific proof that has yet to stop people from drinking amari on their own either before (“apertivo”), or after a meal.

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