Featuring more than 100 recipes, Amaro is the first book to demystify the ever-expanding, bittersweet world, and is a must-have for any home cocktail enthusiast or industry professional.
The European tradition of making bittersweet liqueurs--called amari in Italian--has been around for centuries. But it is only recently that these herbaceous digestifs have moved from the dusty back bar to center stage in the United States, and become a key ingredient on cocktail lists in the country’s best bars and restaurants. Lucky for us, today there is a dizzying range of amaro available—from familiar favorites like Averna and Fernet-Branca, to the growing category of regional, American-made amaro.
Starting with a rip-roaring tour of bars, cafés, and distilleries in Italy, amaro’s spiritual home, Brad Thomas Parsons—author of the James Beard and IACP Award–winner Bitters—will open your eyes to the rich history and vibrant culture of amaro today. With more than 100 recipes for amaro-centric cocktails, DIY amaro, and even amaro-spiked desserts, you’ll be living (and drinking) la dolce vita.
Europeans have been enjoying bittersweet liquors for hundreds of years, but Americans have only recently begun to appreciate the flavor profiles of this class of liqueurs. Collectively known as amari in Italian, they display a broad range of flavors, and Parsons (Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All) does a terrific job of showcasing them in this collection of over 100 recipes. Parsons begins at the beginning, recounting the history of amaro and highlighting some of the genre's most passionate bartenders and their respective bars before digging into specific brands: Campari, Luxardo, Cynar, Jagermeister, and dozens of lesser-known but equally interesting varieties. Parsons's recipes are painfully specific in regard to ingredients and preparation for the book's cocktails, but once readers have a shelf of amari and a few good bottles of gin, bourbon, or rum on hand, they'll find that the vast majority of the book's recipes come together with a minimum of fuss. Classics such as the boulevardier and negroni are hard to mess up and can serve as a gateway to more nuanced cocktails such as the cynara, a mix of bourbon, Aperol, and Cynar cooled with an ice cube infused with bitters. And if that isn't enough, Parsons closes with a chapter on crafting one's own amari and tips for incorporating the liqueurs into milkshakes and other desserts.