'amari' on Serious Eats

We Chat Amari with Maialino's Bar Manager, Erik Lombardo

You might have experienced a cheese cart or a chocolate cart, but what about a tableside basket of after-dinner bitter liqueurs? At Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel in NYC, bar manager Erik Lombardo recently introduced amari service, including a 16-bottle list and a few digestif bottles offered tableside for post-dinner sipping. We asked Lombardo a bit about the program and his picks for amari novices, plus the weirdest bottles and his personal favorites. More

3 Cynar Cocktails to Make at Home

Just like the bitter greens that start showing up at greenmarkets this time of year, Cynar is a delicious palate refresher. Although it's often consumed alone or with a splash of soda, it can also make cocktails much more interesting. Here are three great recipes to try. More

Amaro You Should Know: Nardini

It's hard to keep track of all the amari on the shelves at your local cocktail bar. Where once there was caramel-toned Averna and menthol-bright Fernet, there's now barely room for all the herbal tonics and digestifs. I love tasting them—the luscious, fruity grappa-based Nonino is a frequent after-dinner sipper in my house, and I'll try any cocktail with Cynar. But at a certain point you wonder: do I really need to buy all these bottles? Do they really each offer something different? More

5 Amari to Try This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving evening. You push back from the table feeling satisfied but a little bloated. You know there's a beautiful pie waiting in the kitchen, but you can't look it in the pie eye, you just can't. You need a break, a walk around the block or the entire city, and possibly some Alka-Seltzer. Or, here's a thought: Try a digestive. More

Have You Tried These Other Fernets?

Fernet Branca is an acquired taste: that mentholated scent, the sweet richness. It's oddly bitter and syrupy, reminding some people of mouthwash (though for others, it's a celebrated secret handshake.) As Nate Cavalieri wrote in SF Weekly, this herbal Italian quaff "most often gets compared to Campari and Jägermeister, though by measure of accuracy, it's equally similar to Robitussin or Pennzoil." But Branca's just the most widely available brand of Fernet, and there are other options in this family of amari. We recently hit two other bottles to investigate. More

DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Amaro

Amaro is yet another item from behind the bar that started out as a way to cure what ailed us—it was once a treatment for everything from an upset stomach or colicky baby to cholera. Really, "amaro" (or amari, in the plural) is just a general name for a bitter, herbal liqueur. More

That's The Spirit: Bitter Truth E**X**R Kräuter Liqueur

From the suburbs of Munich, bartenders Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck of The Bitter Truth have been creating various flavors of cocktail bitters since 2006. They've come a long way from the orange bitters that launched their product line. With the release of their E**X**R Kräuter Liqueur, they're branching out into the other kind of bitters—the digestive liqueurs Italians call amari. More

An Introduction to Cynar

Let's get this out of the way at the start: Cynar doesn't taste like artichokes. The edible thistle is only the most prominent name in an array of more than a dozen botanical ingredients that make this liqueur so memorable. More

Averna, Averna Everywhere

With a recipe dating to the 1860s, Averna is a much different style of bitter spirit than the more familiar Campari. Where Campari is sharp and bright (essential elements for an aperitivo), Averna is deep and rich, with a gentle, slightly sweet bitterness and a full, firm body that makes it great as an after-dinner drink. More

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