Considered a health tonic in the 1800s and a part of everyday life in Italy, Amaro has just started to gain momentum here in the States. Thanks to the passioniate pursuit of these elixirs by mixologists and sommeliers, we have a fair amount to choose from now. We must note that Amaro is not for everyone. Although every Amaro is different (and there are hundreds!), the classic descriptors are: herbal, medicinal, earthy, orange peel, cardamom, clove. It is silky-sweet like a liqueur with a lingering bitter note (although with varying degrees of bitter and sweet). It is best enjoyed after dinner as a digestivo, and it truly does help to ease the tummy after an overindulgent meal. We find it compelling and delicious!

Based on the orginal recipe of 1815, this is an exclusive blend of fair trade herbs and roots sourced from all over the world. The predominant flavors come from sweet Sicilian oranges, bitter oranges from Curaçao, star anise and cardamom. Ramazzotti pours a viscous, deep mahogany and has aromas of clove, anise, orange peel with a touch of homemade root beer. The palate is full bodied, with a pleasantly balanced bittersweet aftertaste.

Purists will tell you that Amari should be enjoyed neat, but we prefer Ramazzotti on the rocks with a splash of artisanal Ginger ale and an orange peel.

Braulio was developed by the botanist Dottore Francesco Peloni in 1875 and hails from the mountain region of Bormio in Lombardy, Italy. Created in accordance with a closely-guarded family recipe, Braulio is made with thirteen fresh herbs sourced from the Valtellina mountain region, including gentian, juniper, peppermint, star anise, wormwood, bitter orange and yarrow. Braulio Amaro leads the premium amaro category and is unique from other Amari in that it is made from a grape based spirit and aged for two years in neutral oak barrels. The resulting amaro is light with a strong aromatic profile and a more bitter than sweet palate. OK, the purists are right about this one, enjoy it simply on the rocks.