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.
Amaro is the first book to demystify this ever-expanding, bittersweet world, and a must-have for any home cocktail enthusiast or industry professional. 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.
““Long before there were chef-driven cocktails, there were monk-driven digestivi, also known as amaro. They made us feel better, encouraged post-prandial discourse, and set us up for a better tomorrow. Thanks to Brad Thomas Parsons, we now have a book that properly celebrates the category, and teaches us just how sweet it is to drink what's bitter.” –Danny Meyer, founder of the Union Square Hospitality Group “Brad Thomas Parsons’s Bitters quickly became the definitive guide to a mysterious but essential cocktail ingredient. He’s done it again with Amaro, a gorgeous, comprehensive, and delectable exploration of the world’s bittersweet aperitifs and digestifs. Parsons’s passion for the history, culture, and personalities behind these herbaceous concoctions, coupled with Ed Anderson’s gorgeous photography, make Amaro a must-have.” –Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist “I am a longtime lover of bitter Italian liqueurs. But this smart handbook has deepened my understanding of and heightened my appreciation for amaro and its kin. Read this and you will be thirsty.” –Mario Batali “A few things happen as you age: you start really liking yogurt, you talk about seeing ‘other people,’ you’re willing to risk big to let out a memorable ‘Bababooey!’ scream at your son’s piano recital, and, fortunately, you begin to really enjoy bitters. Not only for their taste, but also because they’re a panacea for the middle-aged gut. Amaro is no longer strictly a clever way to deter teenage partygoers from raiding the house bar; it’s a staple ingredient, and it’s about time for such a thoroughly researched and deliciously presented book on the subject. Amaro is complete and thirst-inducing. Two thumbs up!” –Frédéric Morin and David McMillan, authors of The Art of Living According to Joe Beef”