In case our, oh, half-dozen columns on Campari and Cynar and Averna and more haven’t tipped you off, we’re huge fans of amari. The huge class of Italian liqueurs share a few key traits: They’re balanced between bitter and sweet (though that balance ranges widely depending on the amaro), they’re made with an often-secret blend of herbs and spices that give each one a totally distinct, layered flavor and they’re often sipped before dinner, to stimulate the appetite, or after, to settle the stomach.
So where does Amaro Lucano fit in? It’s pleasantly rich and weighty to sip, a little caramel-y, with a complex spice somewhere between a concentrated cola and concentrated root beer. Tons of fun on its own, but perhaps even better in cocktails. Here are three favorites we’ve dreamed up.
Easy: Lucano and Ginger Beer
Some amari are perfect with soda, or tonic; for heavier Lucano, we like it with ginger beer to cut through that richness, while adding a little sweetness and a lot of sparkle.