The Lost Amaro

With all the hoopla that's surrounded the Italian bitter liqueur category over the last five years, and considering the resurgence of the Negroni and a renewed interest in all things amaro, you'd think we would have finally exhausted all the possibilities for aperitivo cocktails in the booze game. Think again, however. There are still a few lost amari in the annuls of Italian drinking culture. Take, for example, the Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto Liqueur; an entry into the bitter cocktail genre that offers an entirely new dynamic. I'll tell from my own experience: if you follow the recipe on the back of the bottle you're in for a real treat. Equal parts Italicus and Prosecco, over ice, with green olives. The combination of savory brine, bitter orange, and sweet Prosecco...

Holy mother of God. 

My wife and I ordered a pizza and got down and dirty with the Italicus this past weekend. It's a fascinating new entry into the amaro mix because it's not all that bitter, but there's a sensational balance of sweetness and botanical sauvage. Apparently, rose petals are a classic ingredient in Italian amaro history (if you didn't catch the translation of rosolio in the name) and the recipe for Italicus dates back to the mid-19th century. I can only imagine the possibilities for white Negronis, but for now I've been sticking to the listed suggestion.

In any case, if you're a fan of Italian cocktails, then you're likely going to go bananas for this. I dusted an entire bottle in one afternoon/evening. I'm expecting to blow through Italicus at K&L like a hot knife through butter.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll