Amaro has a very similar background to vermouth: it’s a wine fortified with a neutral spirit (often made from grapes), and macerated with a blend of herbs, roots, flowers, bark, and citrus, before being aged. Like many spirits, Amaro was initially created for medicinal purposes, but as people became accustomed to drinks with a bitter bite, it was consumed merely for pleasure.
The word amaro itself is Italian for “bitter”, and while bitterness is a major component of this herbal liqueur, it should still be balanced. Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro contains predominant aromas of gentian, hints of ginger, exotic flowers and spices. The framework of cinchona bark and bitter root extract is complimented by sweet citrus fruits that lend a crisp bitterness to the final flavor.
Amaro is often drunk straight as a digestif (think the opposite of aperitif: a drink to aid in digestion after a meal). However as Amaro gains popularity, bartenders have been embracing this unique spirit and bitter cocktails are appearing on menus everywhere. While all three styles of aperitifs have storied histories, they also have an exciting future.