About Bitter Liqueur

Serve in a Copita
Bitter liqueurs are quite famous, especially those from Italy, such as amaro, and France. These liqueurs are made in various regions throughout these countries and are made from secret recipes of herbs and spices - some local, many imported from other territories. The herbs and spices include things such as orange peel, rhubarb, pomegranate and tree bark. Quite often these are mixed with fruit juices for pre-dinner cocktails, while most examples of amaro are enjoyed straight, often as a digestif. Alcohol levels are usually around 20% to 25%.
Top Picks for Bitter Liqueur
221990
Luxardo
Bitter Liqueur
Bright red color. Herbal, citrusy aromas and flavors of gentian, wormwood, dried citrus, and toasted almond with a round, crisp, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, elegant, long orange blossom, rhubarb, black licorice, alpine herbs, and cherry pits finish. A complex bitter with a healthy dose of anise.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211442
Balsam
American Amaro
Tasted Neat. Dark brown black color. Complex, spicy herbal aromas of anise, gingerbread, chocolate spice raisin cake, and pink peppercorn with a velvety, vibrant, moderately sweet medium-full body and a warming, long bitter barks, wormwood tea, sarsaparilla, and grilled citrus peels finish. A bold, fantastically rich and balanced amaro with cascading waves of flavor. Tasted as Vermouth. Dark violet black color. Bright, spicy, fruity complex aromas of cherry rhubarb pie, rich baking spices, delicate herbs, and chocolate drizzled blood orange with an even, racy, sweet medium body and a tingling, long bitter barks, wormwood tea, toasty cedar, and cardamom finish. A sensationally vibrant and flavor packed vermouth with great balance, style and length; sure to be a hit on its own or in craft cocktails.
96 points $31.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219873
Montenegro
Amaro Italiano
Pale golden amber color. Aromas of bitter orange, honeysuckle, quinine, and sandalwood with a round, crisp, sweet medium body and a sleek, refreshing, long orange blossom, cinchona bark, vanilla, and rooibos tea finish. A luscious amaro that will add intrigue to any cocktail.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222271
Amaro dell’Etna
Ricetta Originale
Clear mahogany color. Herbal aromas of espresso crema, cola, dark roasted nuts, eucalyptus, and licorice with a fat body and a very complex, long lilac, molasses, caramelized vegetables, iced tea, and raisin finish. A superbly balanced bitter to serve in craft cocktails or neat.
95 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221988
Luxardo
Amaro Abano
Mahogany color. Spicy, minty aromas of cardamom, allspice, black tea, wintergreen, and coriander with a round, bright, bittersweet medium-full body and a peppery, layered, medium-length dark chocolate, espresso crema, roasted collard greens, black licorice, chincona, black pepper, and orange peel finish. A nice and sturdy herbal liqueur that offers a satisfying transition from herbal nose to spicy, pleasantly bitter palate; a welcome addition to cocktails or as a digestivo.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217353
Bepi Tosolini
Amaro Liqueur
Dark dark brown color. Attractive, spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of artisanal root beer, caramelized fruits and nuts, ginger beer, and cardamom and nutmeg with a glycerous, vibrant, moderately sweet medium body and a tingling, subtle, long honeyed nuts, peppery spices, bitter herbs, roots, and barks, and menthol mint finish. A nice, supple amaro that will make a good introduction to the category.
94 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217420
Bonollo
Amaro
Dark copper color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate orange peel, caramel bread pudding, and cola with a glycerous, tangy, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, amusing, medium-long turmeric, exotic peppercorns, delicate bitter bark, and cedar and slate finish. A delicious, well-poised bitter liqueur with great length and subtle bitterness that will make a great introduction to the category.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210362
Santa Maria
Vignale Amaro
Dark bronze color. Bright, complex aromas of sassafras, smoked pink pepper, sandalwood incense, and pomegranate molasses with a glycerous, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, distinctive, medium-long menthol mint, herbal honey, and gentian finish. A very flavorful and well balanced amaro.
94 points $41.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221991
Luxardo
Bitter Bianco Liqueur
Brilliant slivery straw color. Citrusy aromas of celery, key lime, and gentian with a round, crisp, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-long dried mint, thyme, and oregano finish. A tasty and versatile bitter with balanced fragrant herbs.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
222145
Luigi Francoli
Fernet
Dark mahogany color. Herbal aromas of intense eucalyptus, black licorice, and vanilla with a round, vibrant, bittersweet medium body and a seamless, complex, very long cola, wormwood, and black pepper finish. A boldly bitter eucalyptus-driven liqueur that will conquer digestion like a pro.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab