Lazzaroni is best known as the creator of an impressive amaretto — in fact, the inventor of amaretto — but it turns out the Saronno-based operation also makes an amazing amaro, too, distinguished by its dark, nearly black bottle. There’s not a lot of info about its ingredients — made from a recipe that dates to the late 1800s — aside from the use of “selected herbs, roots, and berries grown in Valtellina, the Lazzaronis family hometown.” (Note that the company also makes a Fernet, which is a different product.)
Let’s give it a whirl.
This is immediately a classic, bittersweet amaro with dark chocolate and gentian dominating up front. Gently fruity but touched with notes of cloves and cinnamon, hints of licorice emerge and tantalize until the finish arrives — which is informed by notes of fresh peppermint and a lengthy reprise of chocolate. Deftly balanced, versatile on its own or in cocktails, and lovely either way, it’s a gorgeous amaro that’s hard to put down and a delight for any occasion.