The Holiday-Friendly Botanicals of AmaroAmaro Montenegro

A bottle of amaro might seem like a curious gift, but it actually makes perfect sense. The familiar flavors of the season — nutmeg, pine, cinnamon, peppermint — play prominently in many traditional Italian digestifs. And this particular style of liqueur soothes the stomach, combatting the over-indulgence that typifies holiday dining. What’s more, trendy amari are stirring interest like never before. Buy the right one for your friends and loved ones and you’ll be getting more than just a tasty gift, but a lasting conversation piece. Here are some spirited suggestions, informed by the sort of person you’re shopping for.

The Crowdpleaser: Amaro Montenegro – $29.99

Italy’s best-selling amaro is number one for a reason: approachability. With the pleasing aromatics of rosewater, and the delicately sweet taste of dried cherry and ripened grapefruit, there is something here for everyone. Its allure is heightened by a secret recipe that has remained remarkably true for over 130 years. And it comes in a festive bottle that evokes holiday spirit, adorned in the green, white, and red of it’s Italian birthplace.

The Life of the Party: Fernet Brancamenta – $26.99

Branca’s flagship fernet is so pervasive, it has actually become synonymous with the category itself. Its peppermint oil-infused sibling is lesser-known but equally as vibrant on the tongue. So it might come as a celebratory surprise to amaro devotees who never ventured past the original. One thing is for sure: wherever a bottle of Brancamenta goes, revelry follows.

The Gourmand: Averna – $30.99

Averna is a supremely complex union of herbaceous spice and syrupy sweetness. As such, its food pairing potential is broad — spanning from appetizers all the way through dessert. Intrepid eaters in your inner-circle will appreciate finding ways to make it work alongside an unlikely array of edible arrangements. From offal-studded charcuterie to chocolate soufflé, this bottle holds itself in high regard. 

The Spirits Connoisseur: Amaro Dell’Etna – $34.99

From the rich, volcanic soil of Sicily, this one is relatively new to American markets. “You can do so many things with it,” notes Brynn Smith, Bar Manager at Duello in downtown Los Angeles. “Spice up your eggnog, put in a dessert, put in a citrus forward cocktail in a martini or manhattan variation. It’s literally Christmas in a bottle.” We can all drink to that.

The Seasoned Traveler: Braulio Amaro Alpino – $43.99

Finding the perfect gift for the jetsetters in your life can be a pricey affair. But if you don’t have the budget to buy them plane tickets, we suggest a bottle of Braulio as a far more affordable alternative. Oak-aged in the mountains of Northern Italy for two years, this invigorating elixir offers a trek to the alps in every sip. Frequent flier miles not included.

A Sip of the Alps In Every PourBrad Japhe

 



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