If you read articles on cocktails and drinking trends, the word “bitter” will inevitably come up. If get serious about cocktails, you will inevitably go through a “bitter, brown and stirred” phase. The Italian word for bitter is amaro.
Amaro: The Spirited World Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs with Cocktails, Recipes and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons is a primer and guide to every widely available amaro on the market. Parsons takes the reader through the various styles: apertivos like Campari and Aperol; Italian classics like Averna, Cynar, Meletti; aromatized wines like vermouth, quinquina and barolo chinato; American made bitters like Art in the Age Root, Calisaya and the much maligned Jeppson’s Mälort (tasting notes: Urinelike hue. Intensely bitter. Astringent and aggressive. Rocket fuel kick.) Think you’ve never had amaro? If you’ve had Jägermeister, you’ve had amaro.