As a bartender, I've seen it all. The classics, the trendy, and the downright bizarre. But there's one category that always catches my attention: Amari.
These Italian liqueurs are a staple in any bar, but they're often overlooked in favor of more well-known spirits. That's a shame because Amari can add a complexity and depth to cocktails that's hard to find elsewhere.
Amari are a type of bitter liqueur made from a blend of herbs, roots, and spices. They come in a wide range of flavors, from the bright and citrusy Aperol to the dark and brooding Fernet Branca.
Each Amaro has its own unique flavor profile, thanks to the blend of ingredients used in its production. Some are sweet, some are bitter, and some are both.
The versatility of Amari makes them perfect for cocktails. They can be used as a base spirit, a modifier, or a finishing touch.
Whether you're looking for something refreshing and light or rich and complex, there's an Amari cocktail out there for you.
In this post, I'm going to share some of my favorite Amari cocktail recipes. These are drinks that I've perfected over the years, and they're all guaranteed to impress.
So sit back, grab a glass, and let's explore the wonderful world of Amari cocktails.
1. Ford Cocktail
The Ford Cocktail is a classic drink that has stood the test of time. This cocktail was first introduced in the 1890s and has remained a popular choice for those who love the bitter taste of amaro. The drink is named after the founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, and is a perfect example of a well-balanced cocktail.
The Ford Cocktail is made with gin, dry vermouth, and two different types of amaro, making it a complex and flavorful drink. The combination of gin and amaro creates a unique taste that is both bitter and sweet, while the dry vermouth adds a touch of sophistication to the drink. If you're looking for a classic cocktail with a bitter twist, the Ford Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
2. Amaro Spritz
The Amaro Spritz is a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. This cocktail is a part of Italian culture and is typically enjoyed during the Aperitivo Hour, along with some appetizers and light spritz cocktails. The Amaro Spritz is made with three simple ingredients: sparkling wine, amaro liqueur, and seltzer.
The bitter element of the amaro liqueur is balanced perfectly with the sweetness of the sparkling wine, making it a well-rounded drink. The Amaro Spritz is a great choice for those who enjoy light and refreshing cocktails, and it's perfect for any time of day.
3. Aperol Sour Cocktail
The Aperol Sour Cocktail is a delightful and refreshing drink that is perfect for brunch or as an aperitif. Made with Aperol, a milder Italian amaro with notes of bitter orange and rhubarb, this cocktail is paired with lemon juice, simple syrup, and a splash of gin. The addition of egg white adds a lovely creamy body to the drink, making it lighter than actual cream.
The cocktail is shaken with ice and strained into a chilled glass, and garnished with a twist of grapefruit peel. It's a pink and puckery cocktail that's great to have in your arsenal. If you're looking for a citrusy, refreshing drink that's easy on the alcohol, the Aperol Sour Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
4. Contessa Cocktail
The Contessa Cocktail is a refreshing twist on the classic Negroni, perfect for those who find the traditional version too bitter. Developed by John Gertsen, a bartender at Boston’s Drink, this cocktail features Aperol instead of Campari, resulting in a lighter and less bitter flavor profile.
The citrusy notes of Aperol perfectly complement the gin and sweet vermouth, making it a perfect before-dinner drink. If you're looking for a Negroni variation that's easy to sip on a hot summer day, the Contessa Cocktail is definitely worth trying.
5. Vampire Cynar Negroni
The Vampire Cynar Negroni is a spooky twist on the classic Negroni cocktail, perfect for Halloween parties. It's made with Dry Rye Reposado Gin, Cynar, and strawberry infused Campari.
The cocktail is garnished with a smoking sprig of rosemary and finished with a little Halloween flair, with a small chip of dry ice added to the glass just before serving, producing a nice white fog. Give the Vampire Cynar Negroni a try for your next Halloween party, you might just find it super spooky!
6. Fernet Sour Cocktail
The Fernet Sour is a unique and complex Amari cocktail that combines Fernet-Branca, an Italian bitter, with Chartreuse, an herbal liqueur made by French monks, and lime juice. It's sweet, sour, bitter, and refreshing all at once, making it one of the most uniquely delicious cocktails out there.
The Fernet Sour is a sophisticated and perfectly balanced drink, great for impressing guests. If you're an adventurous home bartender looking for a unique liqueur, it's worth buying a bottle of Chartreuse and Fernet-Branca to try this cocktail and other Fernet cocktails.
7. Paloma Aperol Spritz
The Paloma Aperol Spritz is a refreshing and delicious summer cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. Made with Aperol, grapefruit soda, tequila, fresh lime juice, and topped with prosecco, this cocktail is a perfect blend of sweet and bitter flavors. What sets this cocktail apart is the use of Aperol, an aperitif that adds a unique flavor to the drink.
The grapefruit soda and lime juice give it a tangy kick, while the prosecco adds a bubbly finish. This cocktail is a must-try for anyone who loves a good mix of flavors and is looking for a new summer favorite. So, go ahead and give it a try and let your taste buds do the talking!
8. Orange Campari Vodka Sour Cocktail
The Orange Campari Vodka Sour Cocktail is a refreshing and well-balanced twist on a classic vodka sour cocktail. This citrusy and floral drink is made with fresh orange juice, Campari, and vodka, creating a perfect blend of sweet and tart flavors.
The addition of egg whites gives the cocktail a creamy and frothy texture, making it a delight to sip on. This cocktail is perfect for warm weather and would be a great addition to any happy hour or date night in. If you're a fan of egg white cocktails and love the bittersweet taste of Campari, this cocktail is definitely worth trying.
9. Aperol Tequila Twist
The Aperol Tequila Twist is a unique and refreshing cocktail that blends tequila with Aperol, grapefruit juice, orange juice, orange bitters, and maple syrup. This long and tangy drink is perfect for any time of the year, with mellow undertones of sweet maple and a bitter bite of Aperol.
The zesty citrus flavors from the grapefruit and orange juice make it incredibly refreshing during the summer months. The Aperol Tequila Twist is also a sensationally colorful drink, making it wonderfully eye-catching. This cocktail is perfect for those who want to try something new and delicious.
10. Tropical Aperol Bourbon Cocktail
The Tropical Aperol Bourbon Cocktail is a refreshing and fruity drink that will transport you to a tropical island with just one sip. The combination of Aperol and Bourbon creates a perfect balance of sweet and bitter, while the addition of pineapple juice and fresh lemon juice adds a tropical twist to the drink.
The cocktail is served ice-cold and garnished with mint, which adds a refreshing aroma to the drink. This cocktail is perfect for those who love a sweet and tangy drink with a hint of bitterness. If you're looking for a unique and flavorful Amari Cocktail, the Tropical Aperol Bourbon Cocktail is definitely worth a try.
11. Aperol and Elderflower Margarita
The Aperol and Elderflower Margarita is a refreshing and citrusy cocktail that is perfect for spring and summer. Made with Corralejo Reposado tequila, Aperol, elderflower liqueur, and lime juice, this cocktail has a bitter edge that is balanced by the delicate floral sweetness of the elderflower liqueur.
The use of sumac in the salted rim adds a subtle hit of sour that complements the rhubarb notes in Aperol. This cocktail is a great choice for those who love a well-made margarita but are looking for a slightly less traditional option. It's a bright and flavorful drink that is sure to be a hit at any gathering.
12. Aperol Cosmopolitan Cocktail
The Aperol Cosmopolitan Cocktail is a modern twist on the classic Cosmo recipe that is sure to impress any cocktail enthusiast. This cocktail uses Aperol, a bright-red bittersweet liqueur based on oranges and several herbs, to give it a vibrant color and a perfectly tart flavor with just enough sweetness to balance out the bitterness.
The absence of cranberry juice in this recipe allows for the Aperol and lime juice to shine through, giving the drink a sophisticated and grown-up taste. This cocktail can be served in any glassware, but the cocktail coupe adds a touch of elegance to the presentation. The Aperol Cosmopolitan Cocktail is a great option for anyone looking to elevate their cocktail game and impress their guests with a modern and refreshing drink.
13. Campari Margarita
The Campari Margarita is a unique twist on the classic margarita that incorporates the bitter Italian apertif, Campari. This cocktail is perfect for those who have a mostly full bottle of Campari sitting around their house and are looking for a way to use it.
While Campari can be an acquired taste, it blends surprisingly well with tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and agave syrup or simple syrup in this cocktail. The Campari Margarita is a great option for those who want to try something new and adventurous with their cocktail choices.
14. Aperol Gin Cocktail
The Aperol Gin Cocktail is a refreshing and easy-to-make drink that is perfect for any gathering. This cocktail is made with gin, cucumber, lime, and a splash of Aperol, which gives it a beautiful color. The bitterness of Aperol pairs perfectly with the freshness of cucumber and lime, making it a unique and delicious cocktail.
It's a perfect choice for those who are looking for a new way to use Aperol. This cocktail is sure to become your new go-to drink, and it's a must-try for anyone who loves Amari cocktails. So, if you're looking for a refreshing and flavorful cocktail, the Aperol Gin Cocktail is definitely worth a try.
The Negroni is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time. This Amari-based drink is a perfect blend of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, resulting in a bold and bitter flavor profile that has become a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts.
The Negroni is a refreshing and sophisticated drink that is perfect for any occasion. Its simplicity and elegance make it a go-to cocktail for those who appreciate the finer things in life. If you're looking for a drink that is both timeless and delicious, the Negroni is the perfect choice.
16. Bitter Giuseppe
The Bitter Giuseppe is a unique and complex cocktail that is perfect for those who enjoy bitter flavors. Made with Italian amaro Cynar, this low-alcohol cocktail is balanced with sweet vermouth, a splash of lemon juice, and a few dashes of orange bitters.
The bitterness of the Cynar is tempered by the other ingredients, creating a well-rounded and flavorful drink. Originating from The Violet Hour in Chicago, this cocktail is perfect as an aperitif or for sipping and lingering over. If you enjoy bitter flavors, the Bitter Giuseppe is definitely worth a try.