Amari is the plural of amaro (Italian for bitter), which is a category of bittersweet liqueurs primarily served as a digestif. Amari come in a wide variety of styles — but most are built around a certain herb, flower, bark, or nut. A typical amaro will be a blend of multiple botanicals, and most rely on very old, secret, family recipes. While many amari are opaque to the point of being nearly black in color, a whole spectrum of colors represents the amari universe — including clear amari. Amari can be consumed neat, on the rocks, or — increasingly — as part of a cocktail.

Top Amari/Amaro Posts:

Jagermeister Manifest
Cynar 70 Liqueur
Campari and Tempus Fugit Gran Classico

Review: Bruto Americano

By Christopher Null | August 19, 2022 |

St. George’s Bruto Americano is a kissing cousin to Campari, bracingly bitter and bright red… and ready for your next Negroni. Against Campari, the California-distilled amaro is a touch more bitter — while also offering piney elements on the nose. This evergreen character becomes more distinct as the spirit opens up in the glass, lending…

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Review: J. Rieger Caffe Amaro

By Christopher Null | May 19, 2022 |

J. Rieger is based in Kansas City, Missouri, where it produces a variety of spirits that includes vodka, gin, and whiskey. Oddly, its best-known is this, a coffee-infused amaro made with local coffee and a blend of botanicals, including juniper berries, cardamom, orange peel, star anise, spearmint leaves, gentian, and vanilla beans. Aiming to combine…

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Review: Merlet Amerisse Bitter Aperitif

By Christopher Null | May 8, 2022 |

As amari-style liqueurs go, Amerisse is wholly unique. This bitter aperitif starts off with a base of Merlet’s creme de cassis which is combined with bittering elements including gentian, angelica, sagebrush, and rhubarb — plus “other berries and citruses.” The result is Amerisse “Liqueur Amere au Cassis,” a dark purple liqueur that will have you…

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Review: Rossi d’Angera Genziana Spitz

By Christopher Null | April 27, 2022 |

Genziana Spitz is an Italian-born blend of “hydrated alcohol, sugar, gentian herb, and genuine vegetable natural substances,” per the label, anyway, but what it really is is a lighter, sweeter style of aperitif with its bitterness clearly evident, yet never overwhelming. The distillery offers some additional details, which go like this: This Gentian Root liqueur…

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Review: Amaro Meletti

By Drew Beard | December 20, 2021 |

Not that long ago, most liquor stores in America were amari deserts, offering little more than Campari and Aperol if you were lucky. In recent years, that has changed substantially, with dozens of offerings hitting our shores in greater numbers (never mind all the domestic craft offerings). Count Meletti among one of those additions that’s…

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Drinkhacker’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2021 |

Ready for Christmas? Ready for Christmas 2023, maybe? Our long day’s journey into night may have continued unabated this year, but we’re hopeful you’ve at least found some ability to get out of the house, maybe take a trip, and reconnect with friends and family this season. Naturally, you’re still not going to be able…

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Review: Botanika Angelica Liqueurs, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | November 14, 2021 |

The folks at Chopin Vodka have expanded into liqueurs, debuting five flavors under the new Botanika Angelica brand. All are made from a base of Chopin Rye Vodka and are infused with natural herbs, spices, and fruits, some rested in 50-year-old Polish oak vats before being bottled. We received the entire lineup for review. Thoughts follow.…

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Review: Luxardo Bitter

By Christopher Null | November 2, 2021 |

We’ve previously covered (and loved) Luxardo Bitter Bianco. This is the OG version, a Campari clone that’s red, not clear. Big, herbal, and bitter as the name would suggest, the Padova, Italy-made Luxardo Bitter stands as a solid alternative to the 48 proof Campari any day of the week. Ingredients aren’t disclosed, but the liqueur…

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Review: Whitehouse Sicilian Bitter Wine

By Rob Theakston | September 18, 2021 |

Created in the Marsala region of Sicily, bitter wine shares some familial ties with amaro: both feature gentian root and cinchona bark as core ingredients. But that’s really where the parallels end. This blend of marsala wine and botanicals is crafted by winemaker Nicola Centonze, who also creates an amaro (called Reset) that’s worth seeking…

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Review: Select Aperitivo

By Christopher Null | September 5, 2021 |

The bright red color can mean only one thing — presuming it’s not maraschino, of course — you’re looking at a bitter Campari clone, one of the kings of the amaro world. Select was born in Venice (Campari hails from Milan), where it was originally created in 1920, using 30 botanicals (including rhubarb and juniper)…

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