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.

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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.