I'm always excited to find a truly nerdy cocktail destination that manages to share esoteric drinks without any pretension. Amor Y Amargo, the latest addition to the Cienfuegos/El Cobre complex on the corner of 6th Street and Avenue A in the East Village, is a prime example.
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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.
Often made with a base of vermouth or another aperitif wine, low-octane cocktails are popping up around the country. Aromatized wines such as vermouth and quinquinas have an elaborate complexity of flavor, so a cocktail based on these wines can have a robust character without the alcoholic firepower to knock you off your barstool.