What Amaro / Digestif / Bitter are you drinking?

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Robert M yers
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What Amaro / Digestif / Bitter are you drinking?

#1 Post by Robert M yers » July 31st, 2018, 3:20 am

I’ve really been trying to expand my search for Amaro type drinks and some additional ones are finally coming into our state now. I love Fernet and really haven’t found anything to beat it yet as it’s bitter level is off the charts good without sweetness. Just bought a bottle of Braulio which I’ve been enjoying as well. Some others I’ve tried have just been too much on the sweet side though.

Cappelletti Has been a nice find as a Campari alternative and also seems to carry less sweetness as well.

I was recently at a bar if SF that had old old Fernet, does Anybody know where you can source these? I’m assuming auctions...Are ancient bottles any different or is it just romance?

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#2 Post by Mike Cohen » July 31st, 2018, 8:04 am

Robert M yers wrote:I’ve really been trying to expand my search for Amaro type drinks and some additional ones are finally coming into our state now. I love Fernet and really haven’t found anything to beat it yet as it’s bitter level is off the charts good without sweetness. Just bought a bottle of Braulio which I’ve been enjoying as well. Some others I’ve tried have just been too much on the sweet side though.

Cappelletti Has been a nice find as a Campari alternative and also seems to carry less sweetness as well.

I was recently at a bar if SF that had old old Fernet, does Anybody know where you can source these? I’m assuming auctions...Are ancient bottles any different or is it just romance?
I like Braulio quite a bit. Fernet Branca is too medicinal for me. Astor Place Wines and Spirits in NYC has a very good Amaro section. I forget the name, but I bought a bottle of Amaro from Chambers Street that was made in Brooklyn and it was outstanding.

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#3 Post by T. Melloni » July 31st, 2018, 9:18 am

Great topic. There are so many amari out there offering up a full variety of flavor profiles.

Fernet Branca is a bit too medicinal for me. It does, however, work as a good digestif. It has a heavy mint-eucalyptus note that can make it seem medicinal.

I like the citrus based amari such as Montenegro, Averna (Sicily), Vecchio Amaro del Capo and Nonino.
Nonino is one of my preferred versions. Seems to have a more pronounced alcohol element but is elegant. It is made from grappa and sees some cask aging.

Montenegro, with its sweetness and lighter profile, is a good introductory amaro, with flavors of orange peel and clove.
Averna has a stronger herbal profile with a nice licorice note. It has a thicker viscosity to it. Averna is a nice addition to making a Manhattan cocktail.

Cynar, made from artichokes, is also a good introductory amaro. It has a caramel style sweetness to counter the bitterness.

Meletti is quite good. It is made using saffron and has a brown spice profile - cinnamon and allspice - along with some anise and orange peel. A little bit of cola flavor too.

Rammazotti seems to be widely available (Pernod Ricard family). It shows flavors of licorice, orange peel, vanilla and star anise.

Braulio is a robust amaro - based on a recipe from the Italian Alps - and brings a pine and herbal and mint profile to the party. It is an acquired taste.

One of my favorites in the cinnamon/orange peel flavor group is CioCiaro. It has a nice thickness to it with the bitter orange profile and a hint of herbs.
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#4 Post by M.Kaplan » July 31st, 2018, 9:57 am

Varnelli Amaro dell'Erborista. Tannic and bitter.
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#5 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » July 31st, 2018, 10:13 am

I use Nonino in my Paper Planes.
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#6 Post by T. Melloni » July 31st, 2018, 10:57 am

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:I use Nonino in my Paper Planes.
Paper Planes?
M.I.A.?
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Nonino is good stuff.
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#7 Post by Paul Miller » July 31st, 2018, 12:07 pm

Nonino
Cynar
1870

Also a couple from some small craft distilleries

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#8 Post by ybarselah » July 31st, 2018, 12:08 pm

forthave spirits "red" aperitivo is awesome. and perhaps the best campari subs i've come across.
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#9 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » July 31st, 2018, 4:07 pm

One I like to rotate in with Fernet Branca and Montenegro is EXR from The Bitter Truth.

In addition, I have a French one at home which I also enjoy, but the name is escaping me at the moment.

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#10 Post by Clayton Wai-Poi » July 31st, 2018, 4:59 pm

Braulio is my favorite. Super herbal but not too high in alcohol. Distribution seems to be getting better.

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#11 Post by Craig G » July 31st, 2018, 7:29 pm

I like Averna. It’s Amaro for beginners.

I have a 50ml bottle of Fernet Branca with about 48ml left. It may remain that way.
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#12 Post by Robert M yers » July 31st, 2018, 7:30 pm

Already some new names here for me, Astor does seem to have a nice selection on their website of new to me stuff too. Any other good retailers out there and do you think there’s any concern with heat damage shipping these over the summer?

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#13 Post by fred o. » August 1st, 2018, 9:52 am

this may be hard to find in Ohio but I love the Bruto Americano from St George's. K&L usually carries it. Wonderful on the rocks with a splash of soda water and a citrus twist.

http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/spirits/bruto-americano/

There's also Amaro Angeleno, which is a local LA-area thing -- more orangey flavor but also fun to try.
These usually run in the mid-20% abv, so I personally wouldn't risk shipping in hot weather like right now.
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#14 Post by Paul Miller » August 1st, 2018, 10:00 am

fred o. wrote:this may be hard to find in Ohio but I love the Bruto Americano from St George's. K&L usually carries it. Wonderful on the rocks with a splash of soda water and a citrus twist.

http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/spirits/bruto-americano/
This is the craft one I prefer. Even use it in a Spritz and a Negroni. Binny's here in Chicago has it.

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#15 Post by brigcampbell » August 1st, 2018, 8:50 pm

Jamie Kutch made me a drink from a nearly 50 y/o bottle of Campari.

It was delicious.
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#16 Post by jbray23 » August 2nd, 2018, 9:50 pm

brigcampbell wrote:Jamie Kutch made me a drink from a nearly 50 y/o bottle of Campari.

It was delicious.
That’s when Campari was real Campari, now it’s just crap...
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#17 Post by Robert M yers » August 3rd, 2018, 4:12 am

Where are old bottles of liquor traded?

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#18 Post by Bill Buitenhuys » August 3rd, 2018, 1:52 pm

If you want an extreme in bitterness give Elixir Novasalus a try. I love all things bitter and it took me three tries before I could enjoy this one. After the initial shock, it's really quite extraordinary in depth.

A beautiful concoction is equal parts Fernet Branca, Rammazotti, and Averna.
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#19 Post by John Osburn » August 4th, 2018, 1:53 pm

Outstanding stuff.
68CB9B0F-96CF-463F-9FAA-308CB57B213F.jpeg
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#20 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » August 5th, 2018, 2:50 pm

The French elixir I mentioned above is Bigallet "China-China."

I went to an amaro tasting a few months back at the local shop. These were all of the "herbal elixir" style, not the Campari style. Montenegro and China-China stood out for me there as both tasty and as different enough from Fernet Branca and EXR to form a nice rotation.

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#21 Post by Drew Goin » August 5th, 2018, 6:25 pm

Underberg!
underhand.jpg
Teeny bottle of Bitter, Gentian-dominant Digestive Underberg
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"Underberg: After a good meal

Underberg is an herb bitters taken for digestion, it is not a beverage. Not to be supped, but taken all at once and quickly because of its aromatic and strong taste. It is also used as a flavoring.”

underberg-werbeanzeige5.jpg
Underberg Ad
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https://www.underberg.com/en/product/underberg/

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#22 Post by Joe Raymond » August 10th, 2018, 2:05 pm

Fernet Branca for the win for me!!
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#23 Post by Robert M yers » August 10th, 2018, 9:03 pm

I’ve never seen the Underberg...wiki says it’s 44% alcohol but you don’t need a liquor license to sell it? Who carries it then?

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#24 Post by Drew Goin » August 11th, 2018, 2:22 am

I buy it by the 3-pack at my local wine shop. It has lots of crazy promotional materials associated with it, too: a toy truck that can carry a dozen tiny bottles, a bandolier, etc.
underberg-bitter-with-a-belt-gurt-germany-10570015.jpg
Underberg Belt 20-pack!!
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Tales of the Cocktail: "Underberg: Cultish Digestif Might Actually Work"


Smallflower sells it, as does Amazon.

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#25 Post by Andy Ryle » August 26th, 2018, 4:06 pm

Grand Marnier 100

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#26 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » August 27th, 2018, 6:01 pm

Drew Goin wrote:
August 5th, 2018, 6:25 pm
Underberg!

underhand.jpg

"Underberg: After a good meal

Underberg is an herb bitters taken for digestion, it is not a beverage. Not to be supped, but taken all at once and quickly because of its aromatic and strong taste. It is also used as a flavoring.”


underberg-werbeanzeige5.jpg

https://www.underberg.com/en/product/underberg/
SAS in first class

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#27 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » August 27th, 2018, 6:02 pm

John Osburn wrote:
August 4th, 2018, 1:53 pm
Outstanding stuff.

68CB9B0F-96CF-463F-9FAA-308CB57B213F.jpeg
Incredibly acidic and bitter. I gave it up for a few years. I have a bottle I may open this weekend and try with club soda as an aperitif.

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#28 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » August 27th, 2018, 6:11 pm

Chinato, a specially of Piemonte, is quite nice, although you don’t seem to be asking for that. You can serve as an aperitif with a little ice and a bit of good club soda along with an orange peel. It’s also good as a digestivo.
Capellano is the standard bearer and Vergano has a nice offering along with an Americano, blanco vermouth and Luli, an addictive moscato based aperitvo/disgestif that is relatively sweet.
The Alessio vino chinato is a good basic version imported by Anchor distilling.
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#29 Post by Russell Faulkner » September 4th, 2018, 9:10 am

More of a vermouth but Cocchi Dopo Teatro tonight. Very nice and extra bitter. I will try it in a Negroni later.

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