Amaro translates very easily into bitter. Campari is actually an amaro but it is crucial enough to get its own section. You can drink these after dinner, or before, to stimulate the appetite and then help to settle the stomach. They have been used as a digestive aid forever and in cocktails they add a bittersweet layer that you could otherwise not achieve without. Depth if you will. They can be drank neat, with ice, with soda, with tonic, equal parts with another spirit, like go crazy you basically can't mess up using amari. You will also look super fancy if you bust one out at a dinner party with little cups for everyone to kickstart their digestive engines. The umbrella category covers a few different types of amari including the ever popular Fernet styles. The Italians actually break them down into a few different types more specifically but I do not think that they are all that important. Basically if they look a bit light in the bottle like Amaro Nonino they drink pretty light and if they are death black like Fernet they will drink like that exact color and work better all at once as opposed to sipping.
Similar styles are made around Europe mostly. The Germans have their regional Krautlikor, like The Hunting Master: Jägermeister, or if you are ever in Dusseldorf, Killeptsch (which I think means hard to pronounce). Gammel Dansk from Denmark, Beerenburg from Holland (whose base is…..Bingo! Genever (...you guys are so smart), Unicum from Hungary, Pelinkovac is Croatian, and you can Czech Becherovka off this list too. While my editor spell check is still figuring out this paragraph I should also toss the French Benedictine in as a similar herbal liqueur and this list could even include the “monk made” Chartreuse brothers in green and yellow.
For cocktails these all have places on a shelf but for ease of use I would recommend going Italian and picking up a bottle of Averna or Luxardo Abano. Adding Chartreuse and Benedictine to the bottles you already have open up the ability for a good number of classics or a great way to enhance that coffee you are sipping on while you wait for the subway.
“This is the hunter’s badge of glory,
That he protect and tend his quarry,
Hunt with honour, as is due,
And through the beast to God is true."
-Translated back of Jäger Bottle
Bar To Home
A simple translation from bar to home.