Review: Fernet-Vallet and Amargo-Vallet Amari

Review: Fernet-Vallet and Amargo-Vallet Amari

VALLET liqueursTurns out they actually make amari in Mexico. These two bitter liqueurs have their origins in 1860s, when Henri Valley left France for Mexico, staying behind to make booze even after the era of French colonialism faded away. The spirits are still made, in Hidalgo, according to the original, 150-year-old recipe.

Thoughts follow.

Fernet-Vallet Aperitivo-Liqueur – Made from aromatic plants, roots and spices including cinnamon, clove, Quassia wood, gentian root, and cardamom. Impossibly dark. Pretty cinnamon/allspice nose. On the palate, extremely bitter — considerably more so than Fernet Branca — and very wood-focused, with dark cloves coming more into the forefront. Over time, the intensity of this amaro grows on you, but those looking for more of a bittersweet experience instead of just a straight-up bitter one might be disappointed. Overall, I was hoping for more complexity than simple, bruising bitterness. 70 proof. B / $25 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]

Amargo-Vallet Bark of Angostura Aperitivo-Liqueur – Even darker, with a purple tint. Made from Angostura bark and macerated cherries, plus spices. The fruit here makes things much more interesting, with a kind of cherry cola character that offsets the wild bitterness driven by the Angostura root. The bitterness builds and builds as the sweetness in the body fades, leaving behind an intense yet enjoyable bitter finish, full of roots, coffee grounds, and the essence of earth. 90 proof. A- / $27

Fernet-Vallet Aperitivo-Liqueur




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. James Vallet on January 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Have drank the wine. Hard to get in Louisiana!

  2. James Vallet on January 19, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Have drank the wine before. Cannot get in Louisiana U.S.A.

  3. Gerry Teldon on June 24, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Hello. I have a bottle of Fernet-vallet but don’t know how to use it. Can you help me? Thanks, Gerry

    • Christopher Null on June 24, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Drink it straight. Some folks prefer ice.

  4. Jennifer O'Donnell on January 9, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Not a fan, unfortunately! I love Amaro, but this one is too harsh- neat or on the rocks. Might be better in a cocktail.

  5. Piter on October 10, 2023 at 2:04 pm

    Mix it with coke. it’s true it doesn’t taste anything like Branca but I don’t mind it. no mint flavor but very affordable

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