The bittersweet liqueur that old Italian men have been sipping for ages is seeing a renaissance at trendy restaurants around the country. Heather Perkins, beverage director at Di’Anoia’s Eatery in Pittsburgh, tells us the bottles to buy and how to enjoy them.

amaro liqueur bottles
Photography by Paola + Murray
| Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray

CYNAR: This artichoke-based (!) amaro doesn't actually taste like artichokes, but it is intriguingly vegetal! Shake equal parts of Cynar and grapefruit juice over ice, then strain into a salt-rimmed glass.

MONTENEGRO: This easy-drinking gateway amaro has hints of cherry cola, says Perkins. It's delicious chilled at the end of a meal, so stash a bottle in the freezer and serve it neat.

AMARO LUCANO: The one most likely to be found in bars across Italy, this liqueur tastes like nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix it with tonic and serve with wedges of lime

ZUCCA: Warm and serve this rhubarb-based spirit with cardamom and citrus flavors as an alternative to a post-dinner cup of tea.

FERNET-BRANCA: With a higher alcohol content and a bold spearmint flavor, a little bit of this Milanese classic goes a long way. Mix it with cola for a quick and easy cocktail.