Amaro is a bitter Italian liqueur that dates back to ancient Rome and was traditionally used as an after-dinner digestif. The word “amaro” translates to bitter in Italian, although most amari found around the Pacific Northwest tend to be a bit sweeter than the traditional, making local amaro a phenomenal addition to a cocktail. If you’ve been to any kind of craft cocktail bar, you’ve surly had a drink with amaro in it. Here are three ways for you to try it yourself at home.
From Scratch Distillery in Edmonds, Washington, the Amo Pocio is very close to a traditional amaro making it ideal for after-dinner sipping. Enjoy two ounces of this on the rocks after a heavy meal and you’ll notice the effects of the rowan berry and Angelica root as they calm your stomach and help you digest. It’s smooth to drink because the distillers add just enough sweetness so as to not dry your mouth when sipping.
As a Spritz
Made in Portland, the Cascadia American Bitter Liqueur is an amaro from New Deal, distilled with rose petals and lavender, which help soften the bitterness brought on by the Angelica root. This drink finishes with a cedar-like flavor which contrasts the delicate floral nose. Try this one as an addition to bolden your favorite spritz: stir together 2 ounces Cascadia with 2 ounces of Prosecco and 1 ounce of sparkling water, then add ice.
The Woods amaro hails from The Woods Spirit Co. in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is a great amaro for beginners. The ingredients utilized within this spirit were all harvested in Vancouver and showcase the area’s plush wild resources. The blackberry honey used is the perfect addition to sweeten the intense flavors of fir needles and wormwood. This amaro is incredibly versatile and is delicious neat, on the rocks and in cocktails. Try it in a whiskey sour, with two ounces of bourbon, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, 1/4 ounce simple syrup, 1/2 ounce egg white and 1/2 ounce of the amaro. Shake all of the ingredients together and strain into a coupe glass.