What exactly is an Amaro and what characteristic must it have to be categorized as such?
How many classifications of Amaro are there in Italy?
Let’s look at how Amari can be used, give an identikit of our Artista and a description of its classification.
Identikit of the Amaro
Origin: Livorno (Italy)
What is an Amaro?
Amari are defined according to European rules and regulations as “a spirit drink with a bitter taste”. The minimum alcoholic strength by volume must be 15°, whilst the sugar content must be below 10% per litre. An Amaro must be made by aromatizing ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with natural aromatizing products and/or those identical to the natural ones.
In Italy, Amari are classified according to the sugar content and the Bitter/Amaro Ratio, therefore we can find some that are:
- Strongly bitter
- Very bitter
- Medium aromatic
- Very aromatic
When we speak of a “bitter liquor”, we refer to the Latin term “liquefacere,” i.e. to dissolve/melt in water. In fact, an Amaro is just that. It is a produce obtained by the maceration of herbs, spices, roots and/or extracts, i.e. natural products in liquid alcohol that dissolves the active components and essences they contain. However, so as to be classified as an Amaro, the liquor must contain less sugar than can be normally found in other liquors (e.g., in Amari obtained through the process of distillation, there may be at most 2% of sugar.
An Amaro is traditionally considered an after dinner drink. In fact, there is an fantastic Italian term, “ammazacaffe” (literally a coffee killer!), which was coined to describe, how lacing your coffee with an Amaro after a lavish meal helps digestion, thanks its the herbs and extracts.
It can be served to suit your taste: neat or with ice, cooled, at room temperature, mixed in a cocktail or an aperitif, to give that special touch to the great classics or even invent new ones.(link).
Today’s new trend in beverages throughout the world is mixology, where the Amaro is ever more the protagonist of the scene, prompting experiments and innovative mixtures in search of new ways to savour this elixir of bygone times.