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Cocktail Ingredient Glossary » Amaro

Amaro (plural "amari") is a name used when referring to a variety of bitter digestif herbal liqueurs. Developed by Italian monks in the 1700s, amaro recipes were used as herbal medicines and tonics. They became quite popular, and began to be commercially produced in the 1800s. Many of today's major brands were established during this time period.

Amari are generally produced with a variety of herbs, spices and fruits based in grain alcohol or grape brandies. They are all bitter, or possibly bittersweet. It is common to serve amaro after a meal to aid in digestion, or with coffee or espresso.

Amaro is extremely popular in Italy, where it is served almost everywhere. Fernet Branca is possibly the best and most widely-known brand of amaro liqueurs, and has gained popularity in the United States, especially in San Francisco.

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Brands and Variations of Amaro

Fernet Branca

A type of amaro produced in the Lombardia region of Italy. By far the most famous brand of Fernet amaro, Fernet Branca has found success in and out of Italy, and has become quite popular in the United States.

Fernet Stock Citrus[home page]

Fernet Stock Citrus is a combination of 14 herbs, various citrus fruits, caramel dyes and spirit waters. It is based on Fernet Stock, another product by Stock Plzeň-Božkov in the Czech Republic, and enjoys high popularity and sales there.

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