The Bittersweet World of Amaro Liqueurs

Amaro is an Italian family of bittersweet, herbal liqueurs that has developed a cult following in recent years. It's not just the taste of amaro that has gained it such a devoted fanbase – it's also the history and process of crafting this unique drink that makes people come back for more.

Amaro liqueur starts with a base of grape , which is infused with a blend of herbs, flowers, aromatic bark, citrus peel and spices. Each amaro producer keeps their recipe for this blend of ingredients as a closely guarded secret. The mixture is then sweetened with sugar syrup and aged for anywhere between one month to several years. This aging process is what gives amaros their signature flavor – and makes them so incredibly versatile when it comes to mixing drinks or adding them to food recipes.

The most popular type of amaro liqueur is Campari, which has become synonymous with the classic Italian cocktail. Other popular brands include Aperol, Amaretto di Saronno, Cynar and Averna. While all these beverages have some similarities in terms of flavor profile (-sweetness) they also vary greatly in terms of strength and taste. For example, Aperol is less bitter than Campari while Amaretto di Saronno has a sweeter almond flavor.

No matter which brand you choose, all amaro liqueurs are incredibly versatile when it comes to mixing drinks or adding them to food recipes. They can be used to make classic like Negronis or Old Fashioneds as well as creative new concoctions like Amaro Spritzes or White Negronis. In addition to being enjoyed neat or on the rocks, amaros can also be used in desserts like panna cotta or ice cream – giving them an unexpected edge in the kitchen as well!

For those looking for an introduction into the world of amaro liqueurs there are pleny of options out there! From light and refreshing Aperol spritzes to strong and smoky Cynars – everyone can find something they enjoy among this wide array of Italian bittersweet elixirs! So why not give one (or two!) a try? You may just discover your new favorite drink!

Amaro Liqueur 1674598148

What Is Amaro Liquor?

Amaro is a type of Italian liqueur made from an infusion of grape brandy with a mix of different herbs, flowers, aromatic bark, citrus peel and spices. The exact blend of ingredients used to make amaro varies depending on the producer, but often includes botanicals such as cardamom, elderberry flowers, gentian root, juniper berries and saffron. After the infusion process is complete, the liqueur is then sweetened with sugar syrup and aged for a period of time. Amaro can be enjoyed either neat or as part of a mixed drink.

Is Jägermeister an Amaro?

Yes, Jägermeister is an amaro. Amaro is an Italian herbal liqueur that is typically served as a digestif. It has a deep and complex flavor usually made from a blend of herbs and spices including licorice, cardamom, anise, peppermint, vanilla, and citrus peel. Jägermeister also contains 56 herbs and spices including ginger root, star anise, cardamom and juniper berries. The liqueur is sweetened with sugar and has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 35%.

The Benefits of Drinking Amaro for Italians

In Italy, amaro is a beloved and long-standing tradition. It's oten enjoyed to help aid in digestion and to relax the palate after a meal. Amaro is made with a variety of local herbs and spices, which gives it its signature bittersweet flavor. The liqueur is typically sipped neat before or after dinner, but it can also be mixed into cocktails for a unique twist. Not only does amaro help to settle the stomach following indulgent meals, but it's also seen as a way to bring friends and family together for an evening of conversation and camaraderie. For Italians, drinking amaro is an intimate ritual that helps them connect with their culture, appreciate each other's company, and savor delicious flavors all at once.

Drinking Amaro in Italy

In Italy, amaro is typically enjoyed as an after dinner drink, as it is thought to aid digestion. It is traditionally served neat in a tumbler or shot glass, often with a slice of lemon or orange rind added for flavor. Some Italians may also choose to add a few drops of seltzer to dilute the bitterness of the amaro and make it more palatable. On cooler days, some Italians even enjoy their amaro with hot water – the warmth from the liquid amplifies the flavors of the amaro and makes it even more enjoyable.

Drinking Amaro On Its Own

Amaro is typically enjoyed neat as an after-dinner drink, due to its bitter flavor profile and purported medicinal benefits. It can be served alone or with a mixer such as tonic water, , or orange . Enjoying amaro on its own allows the full flavor of the liqueur to shine through, and is a great way to appreciate the complexity of its ingredients and aromas.

Is Amaro a Digestif or Aperitif?

Amaro is both a digestif and an aperitif. As a digestif, it is meant to be consumed after dinner as an aid to aid digestion and settle the stomach. It typically has a relatively low alcohol content (around 15%) and can be enjoyed as is, or with ice or soda water. As an aperitif, it is meant to be served before dinner in order to stimulate the appetite. It usually contains a higher alcohol content than its digestif counterpart (45%), and can be served neat or with mixers such as or soda water.

Do I Need to Refrigerate Amaro?

Yes, amaro should be refrigerated after opening. Just like vermouth, an opened bottle of amaro needs to be stored in the refrigerator to maintain its quality and preserve it for up to two weeks. It's important to keep the bottle tightly sealed and away from direct sunlight as well, as too much heat can cause the flavors to degrade over time.

The Origin of the Name ‘Amaro'

Amaro is an Italian liqueur made with a variety of herbs, spices, and roots. The name ‘amaro' literally translates to ‘bitter' in Italian, which refers to the bitter flavors derived from these ingredients. Historically, amari were created as digestifs or aperitifs—alcoholic beverages intended to aid digestion and stimulate appetite before meals.

The flavor profiles of amari vary greatly, but there are a few common ingredients that give them their signature bitter taste. Some of these include gentian root, cinchona bark (also knon as quinine), rhubarb root, orange peel, and wormwood (a plant belonging to the daisy family). These botanicals are macerated in neutral grain alcohol or and then sweetened with sugar syrup or honey. The resulting liquid is then aged in oak barrels to bring out its complex flavors.

The bitterness of amari can be intense at first taste, but the underlying sweetness and complexity make it an enjoyable drink on its own or when mixed with other alcoholic beverages.


In conclusion, amaro is a family of Italian liqueurs that are known for their bitter flavor derived from herbs, flowers, and spices. Amaro is sweetened with sugar syrup before being aged and can range in flavor from subtle to intense. Campari is one of the most popular types of amaro and has a bright red color with a bittersweet taste. Aperol is a less bitter option and has an orange flavor that is oten easier to drink. There are many different kinds of amaro that offer unique flavor profiles, making it an excellent addition to any home bar or cocktail enthusiast's collection.

Photo of author

Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.