The Malagueña

Amaro and dark rum make for a strong, bitter sweet cocktail.

Montenegro Amaro Cocktails
Photo: Carey Jones
Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
10 mins

We are unabashed amaro fans –– from bitter Fernet to dark, earthy Cynar to lively Nonino, we've never met an Italian bitter liqueur we haven't loved. Each so distinct from the others, each from its own corner of Italy, each one of these bottles has decades of history –– some made according to the same (often-secret) recipes for a century or more.

But if we had to pick just one delicious, all-occasion, easy-to-love amaro, it'd have to be Montenegro. Made in Bologna since 1885, Montenegro is the best-selling amaro in Italy (which really says something). Beautifully balanced with more than 40 botanicals, it's rich on the tongue but not too heavy, with strong flavors of orange and vanilla, just sweet enough to balance its bitter elements. As an after-dinner digestif, it's an unimpeachable choice. But Montenegro (or "Monte," pronounced "Monty," if you want to be a cool kid) is a dream to mix with. From tequila to rum to gin, we've yet to find a spirit it can't make friends with.

When it comes to making The Malagueña, the union of Montenegro and dark rum yields a cocktail something like a summer Manhattan –– strong and stirred, but brighter and more dynamic than the classic. You still appreciate all of Montenegro's varied bitter elements, with rum as a mellow, pleasant anchor. It's a little too easy to drink.


Agave Syrup

  • 1 ounce boiling water

  • 1 ounce agave nectar

The Malagueña

  • 1 ounce rum

  • 1 ounce Amaro Montenegro

  • 1 orange peel (for garnish)


Make Agave Syrup

  1. In a sauce pan over medium heat, dissolve one ounce agave nectar in one ounce boiling water.

Make The Malagueña Cocktail

  1. In a mixing glass with ice, stir together dark rum, Montenegro Amaro, 1/4 ounce of agave syrup, a dash of orange bitters, and three dashes of Angostura bitters. 

  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange peel.

Updated by
Oset Babür-Winter

Title: Senior Drinks Editor, Food & Wine

Location: New York City

Experience: Oset Babür-Winter has completed the Wine and Spirits Education Trust's (WSET) Level 3 Award in wines and was previously the magazine's associate culture editor, where she edited Obsessions.

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