All About Amari
So much more than an Aperol Spritz…
I was first introduced to the Italian ‘Amari’ whilst visiting Rome a couple of years ago, where I saw the locals sitting outside drinking a bright orange drink and wondered what it could be.
Since then, Aperol Spritz and the like have become increasingly popular in Britain owing to their refreshing flavour and slightly bitter edge.
I have always taken an interest in the more peculiar and exotic bottles residing on our spirits shelves but was unaware they all fell under the same category – Amari.
The literal translation of Amaro is ‘bitter’ and Aperol & Campari are the most well known for their inclusion in many classic cocktails. However, they are just the gateway to a whole world of bitter, herbal-infused aperitifs from Italy.
Here I’ll walk you through the Amari we stock here at Macknade, along with some recipe ideas:
Aperol – The most famous amaro… classically used for a spritz with prosecco and soda. Alternatively, try it with gin, lemon juice & fresh basil and top with a splash of prosecco.
Averna – A full-bodied herbal digestif, best served over ice or tonic. Averna is moderately sweet and moderately bitter, with a strong orange flavour.
Fernet Branca – Originally invented as a remedy for stomach aches, Fernet-Branca does have a complex medicinal flavour. Serve over ice or with cola for a bittersweet drink. We also stock a menthol version of Fernet Branca… the ultimate after dinner mint!
Campari – The classic, bright red king of the bitters! Typically this is used in a Negroni, but why not try mixing with gin and grapefruit juice instead?
Punt e Mes – Not strictly an Amari, Punt e Mes is actually an incredibly bitter vermouth and is great with soda water & orange peel.
Cynar – This stands out from the rest with its artichoke logo! It is infused with artichokes plus 12 other herbs and spices, giving it a savoury edge. Serve over ice with soda water.