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Good idea Dan. Actually, last night I went with gin:amero:maraschino 2:1:1. The ratios could use a little fiddling and maybe a slightly softer gin than Tanq. But overall it was darn tasty.

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Generally, after opening, I only store wine based products in the fridge.

(Well, homemade liqueurs, too, after opening.)

Other people I know like to toss the low alcohol, neutral spirits based products in the fridge too, like Cynar and Aperol. I guess anything lower than 20%.

Personally, I wouldn't put Averna in the fridge, but it is worth noting that any product based on the infusion of natural ingredients does have a semi-limited shelf life, which varies depending on the stability of the ingredients used.


Edited by eje (log)

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Thanks Erik, it's good to know. I won't hesitate to open that bottle now.

I was concerned that I would not be able to store it properly as I am starting to run out of space in the fridge with my expanding collection - currently three different kinds of red vermouth, three kinds of white vermouth (which each have a purpose), and Bonal...

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What is the conventional wisdom regarding shelf life of various amaros? Should they be refrigerated?

What are everyone's favorites?

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I've never seen any restaurants and bars put them in the fridge ... and, let's face it, places aren't going to go through them especially quickly.

I really like Averna and Nonino. I enjoyed Sibilia for something different but I'm struggling to find a source locally. Fernet Branca has its uses and I like it in the right context, but the herbal toothpaste quality isn't my favourite thing in the world. Cynar is fun. Montenegro reminds me of musk sticks (the lollies).

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I like Averna, Montenegro and Cynar. In the aperitif category (are these still considered amari?), I really like Suze and Campari, but am on the fence regarding Aperol (not distinctive enough/too mild). Amer Picon is another good one.

I also have Fernet Branca which is ok in small amounts.

I keep the Cynar and the Suze in the fridge and the other ones at room temperature, with the logic being the relatively low alcohol content (< 20%).

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I'm only familiar with what I have (and I don't actually know if all of them are considered amari)... Lucano, Fernet Branca, Cynar, Campari and Aperol. I like all of them and I keep them all in the cabinet, not the fridge.

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I love love love Amari, and wish there were more readily available in the US. I have the following amari/aperitifs

Campari (old and new)

Aperol

Torani Amer

Cynar

Amer Picon (French)

Gran Classico

Luxardo Amaro Abano

del Capo

Ramazzotti

Suze (French)

Cora

Fernet Branca

Branca Menta

Maraska Pelincovac

Zwack Unicum

Sibilla

Braulio

Lazzaroni

Genepy (alpine gentian liqueur)

I'd love to get a hold of Nonino, L'Erboriste, Braulio Riserva, and Lucano, or any other weird things ;)

Oh, and like Sherry, the browner they are, the less you need to worry about them. I wouldn't store anything (maybe Aperol) in the fridge, though.

Thanks,

Zachary

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I keep all of mine on the bar, and have never had an issue with spoilage...of those I have (shown & listed below), I like Averna (rocks) & Nonino (neat) the most for sipping. Campari is obviously what I reach for most to use in Cocktails, with the original Picon being a relatively new addition that has been getting used quite a bit (making many a Brooklyn or Creole).

IMG_20121023_194244 (1).jpg

Amaro CioCiaro

Amaro Nonino

Amer Picon (78 proof)

Aperol

Averna

Campari

Cynar

Dr. Nielsen's Bitter

Fernet Branca

Fernet Leopold

Gammel Dansk

Gentiane des Pères Chartreux

Gran Classico Bitter

Picon Biere (36 proof)

Picon 'Violet Hour' (? proof)

Ramazzotti

Suze

Unicum (not pictured...in the freezer, because I tend to ony drink it neat and prefer it very cold)

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Nice collection. Are Campari and Aperol both considered amaros?

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@weinoo: Yes. Both are bitter liqueurs from Italy. An amaro may be a digestivo or an aperitivo (or I suppose neither). There is some grey area for wine-base amari, where one might consider them an aromatized wine. Cardamaro, for example, although given that it has amaro in the name, I think that seals the deal.

I see this is morphing into the "amaro baller" thread. Excellent!

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If we're talking favorites here, based on what you reach for most often, mine would be CioCiaro, simply because it mixes well with a bunch of different stuff, and doesn't overwhelm; and because until recently, it was the best Picon substitute I could find for a proper Brooklyn cocktail (nod to Spliflicator for the tip). I also have Bitterman's Amer Nouvelle, which is a more accurate Picon recreation, and really nice, but because it's twice the price I find myself being miserly with it.

I almost consider Campari/Aperol as in a class by themselves; namely: one of the essential Negroni ingredients that must be stocked at all times. I tend to prefer Aperol in summer for its lightness, and Campari in cooler weather, but that's a rough rule.

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OK. May I play too?

Aperol

Becherovka

Bitter Truth E**X**R

Bittermen's Amere Nouvelle

Boudreau (homemade)

Campari

del Capo

Cardamaro

China Martini

CioCiaro

Cynar

dell' Erborista

Fernet Branca

Fernet Menta

Gran Classico

Lucano

Luxardo Abano

Luxardo Bitter

Meletti

Mio

Nardini

Nonino

Picon Bierre

Pimm's

Ramazzotti

Ruccola (Maurizio Russo)

Sibilia

Stock Fernet Citrus

Zucca

Zwack Liqueur (alas, not Unicum)

amari.jpg


Edited by EvergreenDan (log)

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Fine... shame me into a picture.

Amari.jpg.JPG

I'd love to try China Martini - did someone bring that back for you?

Thanks,

Zachary

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Just picked up a bottle of del Capo. Man. This is nice. Reminds me a lot of Nonino altho' it's seemingly more bitter. Have to do a side by side comparison at some point.

Too, Campari and Aperol aren't listed on Wikipedia's amari page. Does this mean they're not amari? I mean, it's why I took them from my list. I don't speak Italian but amaro just means 'bitter', right? So surely Campari qualifies.


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

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KD,

I just noticed your bottle of Campari - mine are the current bottle (on the right) and two that are probably 2005 vintage (they're Carmine colored). Do you know how old your bottle is?

Thanks,

Zachary

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KD,

Just the fact that you even have ROOM for that many amari is enough to make me Cynar green with envy.

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@zachary: China Martini did indeed come from a swap. I also forgot Black Balsams (which I highly recommend) and today's acquisition of Leopold Fernet (spearmint, not particularly bitter, need to find a use for it). And putting two bottles of Unicum out front is just plain mean. Bastard. ;)

@yojimbo: Wouldn't Cynar make you brown with envy? Fernet Menta would make you green with envy.

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I just noticed your bottle of Campari - mine are the current bottle (on the right) and two that are probably 2005 vintage (they're Carmine colored). Do you know how old your bottle is?

I'm not really sure. The label says Aperitivo, but it also says it's Artificially Colored, so I wouldn't think it's as old as yours. However, this post from 2008 seems to think the presence of the Italy label implies that it is "older." It is a 1L bottle, not a 750...perhaps they continued to use the Italy label on the 1L bottle longer?

Regarding China Martini, I've seen it on the shelves at a couple out of the way stores downstate, but it didn't look appealing (at least not as appealing as the random bottles of Inner Circle Blue & Red). What's the flavor profile?


Edited by KD1191 (log)

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@yojimbo: Wouldn't Cynar make you brown with envy? Fernet Menta would make you green with envy.

Yeah, I was thinking artichoke green rather than the color of the spirit, but emotion stays the same regardless of color. Time to negotiate with my spouse on more bar space!

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i keep getting invited to taste new amaros that importers are bringing in hoping to be the next big thing. many of them seem really uninspired and full of missed opportunities. i suspect many amaros out there are shadows of their former selves because they are not maintaining their formulas and their sourcing has fallen apart after neglect. to illustrate how things fall apart, american vermouths, particularly Tribuno were regarded as the best in the world after world war II all the way into the 70's, but now we know the company is a distant shadow of itself.

i suspect all the great amaros out there came to being when a group of super consultant flavor chemists took a liking to them and helped companies scale to global demand and create protocols to maintain consistency. some of these consultants, who also did business making artificial flavors for the pharmaceuticals industry, were interested in what all the possible "special effects" were that could be used in an amaro. federico fenaroli outlined some of them in his giant handbook of flavor ingredients.

as someone who has always sought out the eclectic and esoteric in wine, (and been rewarded for doing so!) many of the newly imported and obscure amaros have been a big let down. i do look forward to acquiring a bottle of the Unicum Szilva. plum as opposed to orange aromatized amaros sounds really intriguing.

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Regarding storage, generally, I only refrigerate wine based beverages.

I've never had a commercial neutral spirits based amaro 'spoil'.

I assume their flavor does change or evolve as they age, especially if they are infusion based, as most amaros are.

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i keep getting invited to taste new amaros that importers are bringing in hoping to be the next big thing. many of them seem really uninspired and full of missed opportunities. i suspect many amaros out there are shadows of their former selves because they are not maintaining their formulas and their sourcing has fallen apart after neglect.

[...]

I'm not quite sure it is quite that bad, but it does seem like a lot of importers with dollar signs in their eyes are looking rather hard to find the next Fernet.

I recently tried a wine based beverage similar in flavor profile to Campari which Haus Alpenz is hoping to bring in, which was quite nice. Alpenz also had another very rooty Alpine Amaro which I quite enjoyed.

A friend brought some Braulio and Braulio reserve from Italy, a very nice herbal Alpine Amaro. I understand it may be imported soon by Domaine Select.

I don't think any of these will be the next Fernet, but they were definitely a cut above the typical commercial Amaros.

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