Praise for the Italian Bitter
Italian amari (translated: bitters) are a category of liqueurs that require a level of linguistic and gastronomical translation. Meant to stimulate the appetite as an aperitivo or calm the stomach as a digestivo, amari are traditionally served neat or on the rocks with an orange twist. When mixed in appropriate proportions, they add immense herbal complexity to cocktails.
Decode the elaborate layers of an amaro by adding a splash to a glass of sparkling wine and experience the silky, herbaceous (and sometimes vegetal) nuances of the spirit. The Chamomile Spritz is a lightly floral cocktail that illuminates the lemony and caramel tones of Amaro Nonino, a bittersweet amaro made with a secret recipe composed of pungent bark, herbs, citrus peel and sugar. Wind down an evening with a soothing sparkler that settles the nerves, calms the stomach and beguiles the taste buds.
Amaro: A single liqueur. Translated, “bitter” in Italian.
Amari: Plural form of amaro. Signifying more than 1 amaro, or the category of spirits.
½ ounce amaro Nonino
½ ounce chamomile-honey syrup*
fresh sprig thyme twisted into a wreath for garnish
splash sparkling wine (I like Morphos American Sparkling wine from Maine)
In cocktail glass, pour Amaro Nonino, chamomile-honey syrup and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a tiny wreath of fresh thyme.
* Pour 4 ounces (½ cup) boiling water over 2 chamomile tea bags and steep for 25 minutes. Discard the teabags, add 4 ounces local honey, stir and pour into a clean glass jar. Refrigerate up to 1 month.
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