The European tradition of making bittersweet liqueurs--called Amari in Italian--have been around for centuries, but Americans have only recently begun to appreciate the flavor and up until recently there was very little production stateside. Now, more and more Amaro’s are being produced in Oregon, California, & Washington D.C. to name a few.
Amari, display a broad range of flavors and Brad Thomas Parsons book (Amaro: The Spirited World Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs with Cocktails, Recipes and Formulas) does a fantastic job of showing their use in a collection of over 100 recipes. The book starts off with the history of Amaro and highlights bartenders of the time before digging into great detail about brands and taste profiles like Campari, Averna Luxardo, Cynar, Jagermeister, Meletti and more amazing lesser-known but equally interesting Amaro’s.
Recipes…that’s a huge portion of the book; are specific but once you have a made a few Amari purchases with supporting bottles of Gin, Bourbon, & Rum you will see how easy it is to enjoy these cocktails. It’s best to start with the classics like a Boulevardier, Negroni, Old Pal, and Tiki’s famous Jungle Bird but the book breaks down cocktails by Apertivo, Essential, Modern, and Dessert! My favorite chapter is titles “Making Your Own Amaro”. The recipes are easy to follow and the reward is too good to be true!