6 Amazing Locally Made Amari

Many great American amaros available near you if you live in America.

Amaro is a bartender’s best friend. It’s bittersweet, complex, and sweet. Amaro is a perfect accompaniment to any meal, which is why it has been making its way into the back bars at restaurants and drinking dens across America.

Although the spirit is not new (it has its roots back to antiquity in Rome when people used wine and herbs to make restorative potions), it has gained a lot of popularity lately due to its ability as a digestif and its amazing range of flavors.

Distillers from all over America now realize the potential of Italian liqueur. They have created their versions, which can be found everywhere from Seattle to San Francisco to Charleston and Chicago.

Amaro Cinpatrazzo (Chicago, $35)

Pat Magner fell in love with Amari after studying architecture in Florence. He and Cynthia Tegtmeyer began to frequent the country to sample various offerings. These experiences eventually led to the creation of Amaro Cinpatrazzo. Their blend is balanced and herbal, with nearly 20 botanicals. They use everything from honey from the local area to hydroponically grown mint, sage and arugula. It’s an uncommon find in Amari. It can be enjoyed neat or with brandy, vodka, gin, or whiskey – all great accompaniments for this smooth sipper.

Breckenridge Bitter (40$)

At 9,600 feet above sea level, this distillery is the largest and most important in Colorado. It employs more than 100 people and creates more than 12 different products (gin, vodka, rum, and brandy). In 2020, the distillery’s 10th anniversary will be celebrated with a double gold award at the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition. It is a huge, unanimous acknowledgment of the balance achieved within this bottle. This includes all-natural dried citrus fruits, roots, spices, and herbs. The team hunts for them after the first snowfall just below the timberline.

High Wire Southern Amaro Liqueur (Charleston, S.C., $30)

Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall, a husband and wife team, founded High Wire Distilling Co. to bring high-quality spirits from small batches to South Carolina. They also created a full spirits line that included Jimmy Red Bourbon, New Southern Revival Rye, and Hat Trick botanical gin. The couple realized that many of the South’s native plants could be used as botanicals to make a bitter liqueur. They decided to venture into the world of amaro and created a bottle that was both light in body and bold in personality. These characteristics can be attributed to hyperlocal ingredients such as yaupon-holly and black tea. Both are sourced from the Carolinas.

Letterpress Amaro Amorino (Seattle, $40)

Skip Tognetti spent many hours at his grandfather’s Italian liquor store in Rome. This inspired him to create a line of premium Italian liqueurs. He also put the same care into each bottle of the Amaro Amorino, which is named after his grandpa, Amorino. This amaro is medium-bitter in taste and has strong citrus notes. It’s accompanied by vanilla, baking spice and floral notes. This amaro is intended to be a digestif, and it’s best enjoyed on its own. Letterpress also offers other Italian-inspired concoctions like limoncello or Marcello.

Philadelphia Distilling Vigo Amaro Philadelphia (Philadelphia), $32)

This spirits destination was established in 2005 as Pennsylvania’s first craft distillery since Prohibition. It has a loyal following for its vodka and gin expressions. Vigo amaro is a blend of dried plums and nutmeg with bitter undertones of gentian root (cinchona bark) added to the lineup. The bottle is sweet, floral, and spicy. It was designed for beginners in amaro but had enough complexity to be appealing to more experienced users.

Agrestis New York Amaro (New York City, $38)

Matt and Louis Catizone were first exposed to amaro as a child by their father, an Italian who would make it part of Sunday dinners and bring it back from Italy every time they visited. The brothers were inspired by bitter things and launched a portfolio with Steven DeAngelo as their business partner. It included a bitter aperitivo and a ready-to-drink Negroni, along with an amaro. You will find a mix of clove, cinnamon, and allspice, leading to cooler peppermint and spearmint notes. There is just enough bitterness to balance it all. You can either drink it as it is or mix it with rye whiskey to create a unique Manhattan.


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