A generic name for over 500 patent bitter liqueurs from Italy, varying in hue from dark brown to pale gold. Amari are made from various combinations of herbs, plants, nuts, fruits and their pits and peels, as well as bark. Angelica, fennel, and elderflowers are but a few of the ingredients steeped in neutral spirits or wine in the making of amari. They are bitter-sweet in taste, very dry and are often diluted and served with ice as aperitifs or customarily offered neat as digestives after dinners, historically to aid in digestion, and for settling the stomach, particularly after consuming heavy and rich foods. Containing both iron and quinine, amaro's complex flavor lends itself well to mixing in cocktails to balance with the sweetness of accompanying spirits and amari are famously served up with a twist of orange peel and an espresso or in classic cocktails such as the Negroni. Campari, Fernet Branca, and Amaro de Montenegro, Lucano, and Averna are examples of amari.
Ingredients in equal parts:
Shake ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain and pour into an Old Fashioned glass over large cubed ice and garnish with orange peel.
Variation: add one part freshly squeezed and strained grapefruit juice to basic ingredients and garnish with grapefruit peel.