These days in the cocktail world, there’s nothing bigger than amaro. Ever tasted Campari in a Negroni, tried ruby-red Aperol in a spritz or seen bartenders slam shots of Fernet? All three are forms of Italian amari, beloved for their intriguing, multifaceted levels of bitterness and sweetness, herbs and botanicals.
Each amaro has a distinct character, which makes it so much fun to play with at the bar. If you’re looking for something dark, complex and accessible to start with, we’d suggest Amaro Montenegro. It’s the most popular amaro in Italy for a reason. Its strong orange flavor makes it appealing all on its own, and a natural fit for a variety of cocktails. (And its quirky, squat bottle looks pretty awesome on your home bar.) Here are three ways to use it, from a 10-second, two-ingredient refresher to an impressive muddled grapefruit-jalapeño concoction.