A Bitter Love Affair, Amaro

What is the best way to end a meal? A piece of cake? Perhaps some pie? Maybe some Ice cream? If you were to ask me this question, I would without hesitation respond with one answer. Amaro.

Amaro is an Italian herbal liquor that is commonly drunk after a meal as a digestif. These liquors have a wide variance of possible alcohol content, ranging from 16-40 percent, and come in a wide range of styles. They are produced by macerating different herbs, roots, flowers, bark, and citrus peels into a neutral spirit. Then typically a sugar syrup is added, and the liquor is allowed to age in bottle or cask.

There is a large variance in the types of Amaro that are produced, and many of the provinces in Italy have their own style, based on the types of trees and herbs found in that particular area. They can be very sweet, dominated by citrus or alpine flavors, a perfect balance of bitter and sweet, or overwhelming bitter. Which bottle you reach for is a matter of personal preference.

So next time you conclude a meal, instead of reaching for the dessert menu, poor yourself a small glass of Amaro. You’re stomach will thank you.