8 Italian Amaro Liqueur Brands (Best Picks)


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Amaro is an Italian liqueur that originated as a medicinal health tonic and has become a much-loved after-dinner digestif. The best amaro liqueur will be a delicious bittersweet blend of citrus peels, herbs, spices, and tree bark.

What is Amaro? Amaro (meaning ‘bitter’ in Italian) is a bittersweet liqueur made by infusing a grape-based neutral spirit with a secret recipe of fruit (usually orange), herbs, spices, roots, bark, and flowers. The alcohol content is around 30% ABV.

This liqueur is versatile too; the best amaro brands can be enjoyed neat or in a wide selection of cocktails such as a Negroni, Dark Manhattan, Paper Plance or Amaro Spritz.

Best Amaro Liqueur

The best amaro liqueur will have an exquisite, bittersweet taste of orange with herbs and spices such as wormwood, liquorice, cinnamon, clove, and more! Here are eight stunning amaro brands to consider.

1. Amaro Averna Siciliano

Averna Amaro Siciliano
Credit: Averna

Overview

  • Distiller: Averna
  • ABV: 29% (58 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Chocolate Brown

Review

Amaro Averna Siciliano was first produced in 1868 by the herbalist monks of San Spirito Abbey for Salvatore Averna and was the first licensed spirit in Sicily. Today it remains the best-selling amaro in Italy!

Taste Notes

Aromas of aromatic herbs, citrus notes, liquorice, spices, and juniper.

On The Palate

A slightly bitter taste at first, with zesty orange, but it mellows into a surprising sweetness mid-palate thanks to liquorice. The herbal notes are more noticeable in the finish.

Best Served

Amaro Averna Siciliano is best enjoyed neat over ice with an orange wedge to contrast its bitter side. Also, try this in an amaro cocktail such as a Dark Manhattan.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Amaro Di Angostura Liqueur

Amaro Di Angostura Liqueur
Credit: Angostura

Overview

  • Distiller: Angostura
  • ABV: 35% (70 Proof)
  • Country: Trinidad
  • Colour: Dark Chocolate

Review

Angostura is one of the most recognisable bitters in the world. Invented in Venezuela in 1824 by Dr Johann Siegert, Angostura was initially called “Dr Siegerts Aromatic Bitters”.

This amaro incorporates the brand’s iconic aromatic bitters as well as a neutral alcohol base spirit and a blend of additional spices to make this complex fruit liqueur stand out.

On The Nose

Aromas of citrus, caramel, cinnamon, liquorice, chocolate and burnt sugar

On The Palate

This dry and bittersweet amaro begins with orange, caramel and liquorice notes. Mid-palate becomes spicier, revealing cardamom, cinnamon, and clove. A spiced chocolate finish with a sprinkle of herbs.

Best Served

Amaro Di Angostura Liqueur is best served neat at room temperature with a slice of lemon or in an amaro take on the Negroni, the Amaroni.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Amaro Montenegro

Amaro Montenegro
Credit: Montenegro

Overview

  • Distiller: Montenegro
  • ABV: 23% (46 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Amaro Montenegro is still produced in Italy, as it has been since 1885 when Stanislao Cobianchi perfected it at the Cobanici Stanislao Steam Distillery.

With a stunning 40 different botanicals (including bitter orange, nutmeg, and liquorice root) in the mix, Amaro Montenegro is a truly unique drink that’s almost a full-blown herbal liqueur.

On The Nose

Aromas of bitter orange, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and coriander.

On the Palate

A sweet opening of fruity orange notes fades to a medicinal, herbal undertone of coriander and clove. The finish is a bittersweet combo of orange and cinnamon.

Best Served

Amaro Montenegro is ideal for sipping neat over ice and makes an excellent addition to an Amaro Spritz. Also, try in long with tonic water or a splash of soda.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Caffo Vecchio Amaro Del Capo

Caffo Vecchio Amaro Del Capo
Credit: Caffo

Overview

  • Distiller: Caffo
  • ABV: 35% (70 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Red Amber

Review

The Caffo family has produced Vecchio Amaro del Capo for four successive generations. Giuseppe Caffo, the founder of the distillery, established the brand in 1915. Vecchio Amara del Capo is their most popular product.

On The Nose

Zesty orange, chamomile, peppermint, star anise, and liquorice.

On The Palate

Exceedingly bitter citrus on the opening tempered and soothed by orange blossom, peppermint and sweet liquorice. The finish is a well-balanced blend of citrus and anise.

Best Served

Vecchio Amaro del Capo is best served straight from the freezer to allow the aniseed, mint, and liquorice notes to shine. Just don’t get your tongue stuck to the glass!

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Tosolini Amaro

Tosolini Amaro
Credit: Tosolini

Overview

  • Distiller: Bepi Tosolini
  • ABV: 30% (60 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Deep Amber

Review

Antica Ricetta Amaro Tosolini Liquore d’Erbe is produced by Bepi Tosonlini, established in 1945, and made from their fine Italian Grappa mixed with herbs and spices.

On The Nose

Orange, orange peel, liquorice, cinnamon

On The Palate

This amaro is bittersweet orange and liquorice on the opening with a sweeter middle of cinnamon and stewed orchard fruits. The finish retains its orange zest with just the right amount of bitterness.

Best Served

Antica Ricetta Amaro Tosolini Liquore d’Erbe is a delicious digestif when served neat with a wedge of orange or a slice of lemon peel. Also, I recommend you try it in an Amaro & Tonic with ice and a slice.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Amaro Lucano

Amaro Lucano
Credit: Lucano

Overview

  • Distiller: Vena & Figli
  • ABV: 28% (56 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Dark Brown

Review

The Lucano Company began life as a small distillation operation in the back room of a bakery in 1894. Today that company is run by Pasquale Vena, the founder’s grandson, and their amaro recipe remains a closely guarded secret.

On The Nose

Aromas of orange peel, cardamom, sage, and mint.

On The Palate

This amaro might seem deceptive, given the overwhelming bitterness of wormwood meets zesty orange, but the bright minty heart adds freshness. A herbal/spice finish of cardamom and sage lingers nicely.

Best Served

Amaro Lucano Liqueur should be served neat (with or without ice) and garnished with orange peel. Also, try this amaro in a Bitter Giuseppe cocktail.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

7. Amaro Ramazzotti

Amaro Ramazzotti
Credit: Ramazzotti

Overview

  • Distiller: Averna
  • ABV: 30% (60 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Deep Amber

Review

Founded in 1815, Ramazzotti still produces this stunning amaro on the island of Sicily. With a wide variety of herbs (33 in fact), spices, fruits and even flowers, you know you are in for a treat.

On The Nose

Bitter citrus, liquorice, turmeric, wormwood, rosemary

On The Palate

An opening that balances bitter gentian and sweet orange nicely, leading to an almost medicinal herbiness mid-palate. The finish is gently spiced with turmeric and myrrh and lingers well.

Best Served

This classic Italian amaro is best served chilled and enjoyed neat with a slice of orange peel and a piece of ginger. Try adding a splash of lime juice for extra zestiness.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

8. Amaro Nonino Quintessentia

Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
Credit: Nonino

Overview

  • Distiller: Nonino
  • ABV: 35% (70 Proof)
  • Country: Italy
  • Colour: Mahogany

Review

The Nonino distillery opened its doors in 1897 and has consistently championed its unique distillation method. Their high-quality amaro comes from grape distillate aged in Limousin and ex-Sherry casks and a secret blend of botanicals.

On the Nose

Jammy bitter orange, tropical fruits, thyme and liquorice.

On The Palate

As a traditional amaro, sweet orange meets bitter wormwood and quinine bark. Medicinal and zesty, but the taste is surprisingly complex and delicate with notes of tropical fruits and orange.

Best Served

Amaro Nonino Quintessentia should be enjoyed on the rocks with a slice of orange. Also, I suggest you try it in a Paper Plane cocktail or use it to boost an Aperol Spritz.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Ingrid’s Top Pick

best amaro liqueur

Amaro Montenegro

My top pick for best amaro liqueur is Amaro Montenegro because it’s so well-balanced. Deliciously fruity, 40 different botanicals and a perfectly bittersweet finish.

Conclusion

As you can see from this list, amaro can vary in taste and intensity from somewhat bitter to surprisingly sweet. So, there is an amaro for everyone, and this Italian herbal liqueur can be sipped neat as a digestif.

Don’t forget that amaro is often an essential ingredient in classic cocktails, even to pimp up the classic Negroni.

While there are several different ways to make a Negroni, amaro is a bitter Italian liqueur that adds a nice balance of bitterness to the sweet vermouth.

Further Reading

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