8 Cocktails to Make With That New Bottle of Amaro

This classic Italian digestif is here to add sweetness and complexity to your cocktails.

Rum and Orange Cocktail
Photo: Eva Kolenko

If you happen to be at a cocktail bar around the country, odds are you'll find a cocktail featuring amaro. The bittersweet Italian digestif is becoming a mainstay on bar menus and, increasingly, on home bar carts across the country. "Every amaro is different, and there are hundreds," writes Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle. "It is traditionally made by infusing grape brandy with a (usually secret) mix of herbs, flowers, aromatic bark, citrus peel and spices — a blend that can include anything from cardamom to elderberry flowers." The mixture is sweetened and results in a bitter and sweet liqueur with a silky mouthfeel. Whether you're making a simply amaro highball with some club soda or tonic or crafting a more complicated cocktail, amaro brings a distinctly delicious flavor and texture to everything it touches. Read on for 8 of our favorite amaro cocktails.

01 of 08

Black Manhattan

black Manhattan cocktail with a cherry
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Marc Farrell of Ten to One Rum, who wants to introduce the Caribbean's history, heritage, and culture into people's understanding of rum, shared the recipe for this rich and layered riff on the Manhattan, which pairs rum with the soft herbal notes of Averna Amaro Siciliano, a sweeter amaro.

02 of 08

Paper Plane

Paper Plane

Guillermo Riveros / Food Styling by Oset Babur-Winter

The Paper Plane has just enough sweetness to counteract its bitter and sour notes, and its signature orange hue comes from Aperol.

03 of 08

Sprezzatura Royale

Sprezzatura Royale
© Lucas Allen

"Sprezzatura refers to the stylishly disheveled look perfected by Italian men," says mixologist Joaquín Simó. This Amaro-based sour topped with sparkling rosé embodies casual elegance.

04 of 08

Rum and Orange Cocktail

Rum and Orange Cocktail
Eva Kolenko

Amaro Montenegro, an Italian digestif, brings strong flavors of orange to this pleasantly bitter cocktail. The drink starts out warm, with light, molasses-y sweetness coming through the first sip, but packs a pleasantly bitter bite. It's a touch smoky and delightfully strong. Finish it with a dash of grapefruit bitters, and garnish with a grapefruit peel twist.

05 of 08

Montenegro Paloma

Montenegro Amaro Cocktails
Carey Jones

Adding bittersweet Montenegro amaro to this classic tequila cocktail makes for a refreshing, sweeter riff on the classic.

06 of 08

Forever Young

Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Inspired by the classic Adonis cocktail of sherry and vermouth, this stiff drink from Kim Kyungmoon balances earthy, fermented Chungju with amaro. Chungju, a Korean alcoholic beverage brewed from rice, and Amaro Nonino, a liqueur from the region of Friuli in northern Italy, both offer a pleasantly musky, nutty flavor, while vermouth shines through with a burst of sweetness.

07 of 08

The Malagueña

Montenegro Amaro Cocktails
Carey Jones

Amaro and dark rum make for a strong, bitter sweet cocktail. A thick orange peel gives a fresh, delicious aroma.

08 of 08

Northern Standard

Northern Standard Cocktail Recipe
Carey Jones

Use your amaro of choice in place of Tempus Fugit Gran Classico for this smooth and strong rye cocktail from mixologist James Ives

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