Three Minutes with Amaro
Without being too philosophical, amaro is more than a drink - it's a cultural icon of conversation. It’s really just a few ingredients, which makes it the perfect summer aperitif you never thought of. So we thought we’d give you a crash course on our favourite three, all available locally and at *most LCBOs.
Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, or Nonino for short, is the smooth caramel cousin of the amaro family. It hints at this beautiful bouquet of saffron, apricot, vanilla, and subtle orange bitters. But before that sounds overboard and complicated, just grab some ice, peel a ripe orange and pour. It taste’s like a party started in your mouth, and only the select few people you like in life are invited.
Amaro Montenegro, unlike the queen it was named after, is anything but royal. A rustic drink, found almost anywhere in Italy and common in North America. Don’t let that fool you though, common doesn’t mean bad, it means iconic. Montenegro has a spearmint citrus and root finish with a hint of honey and caramel. In our humble opinion, it should be blended with 3 oz. Ginger beer, 3/4 oz. lemon juice and poured on the rocks. Oh, and make sure it stays in the freezer, seriously, don’t serve it at anything less than sub-zero, you’ll thank us later.
We saved the best for last, enter Averna Amaro Siciliano. The Godly spirit (pardon the pun) was created by Monks in the northern mountains of Italy. The recipe hasn’t changed much since 1868. We could leave it there, but we should tell you one more thing: serve it over ice with a squeeze of lemon after an afternoon coffee or as an amaro spritz; splash on some chilled prosecco for a bittersweet profile as an aperitif. These pairings bring out the liquorice, orange zest, mocha, caramel, rosemary, cinnamon notes. Yes, mocha and rosemary. It shouldn’t work, but if a group of devout followers of sacred text drank it, we think it’s good enough for you.