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Discover 3 popular Amari: Amaro Montenegro, Averna and Braulio. Amaro is a popular Italian herbal elixir with bittersweet, thick flavor.All Amari products have been provided to me by brand representatives. Content includes brand descriptions and tasting notes along with my own thoughts and opinions.


Averna is an herbal elixir originating with friars of the Convent of St. Spirito’s Abbey. The friars gifted the Averna recipe to a benefactor, Salvatore Averna, as thank you. Production of this spirit began in 1868 in Calatanisetta, Sicily.

Averna in particular strikes a complex balance of bitter herb and dried fruit flavors. The original recipe remains a secret, but is said to contain a variety of herbs, roots and citrus. Official Averna Amaro tasting notes include aromas of exotic spice, wood, maple syrup, cinnamon and dried orange peel. The liquid is velvety and dense on the tongue. I reviewed Averna years ago. Read my thoughts on this digestive along with four recipes here.

Averna can be sipped neat or on the rocks with lemon peel slice. However, it is also a divinely flavored ingredient for cocktails. It’s an excellent addition to Manhattan variations like this one.

Averna is 58 proof (29% ABV). 750ml bottle retails for about $30 and is available nationwide. Averna is a product of Campari America.

Include the Prospector Cocktail with Averna and bourbon in your fall and winter holiday plans.

3/4 ounce Averna Amaro

1/2 ounce Pedro Ximenez Sherry

1 dash Angostura Bitters

2 ounces Larceny Bourbon

Lemon Twist

Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Twist a fresh lemon peel over the top of the glass, releasing the essential oils. Drop twist into drink.


The Black Betty drink is a cross between a Manhattan and Sazerac. It is served on the rocks. Its ingredients include Braulio Amaro, bourbon, Cynar and Herbsaint. Recipe here.

Braulio originated in Bormio, Valtellina and was developed by an Italian chemist, Francesco Peloni. Its ingredients include aromatic alpine herbs, plants and roots. This Amaro undergoes a two-year aging process in oak barrels.

Braulio is 42 proof (21% ABV). 750ml bottle retails for about $35 and is currently available in a handful of states. Braulio is a Campari America product.

Amaro Montenegro

Amaro Montenegro is an Italian Amaro established in 1885 by Stanislao Cobianchi. The recipe is top secret of course with a variety of 40 exotic herbs and spices. Its light Amaro flavor is complemented by hints of orange and rosewater. This Amaro can be sipped traditionally or be put to great use in creative contemporary cocktails like these and this one.

Official product notes include orange peel, fresh coriander, red cherry, pekoe tea and cucumber on the nose. The first taste is sweet but quickly takes on a mild bitter and botanical flavor. Sweet flavors include lingering tangerine and mandarin peel. It is moderately bittersweet and citrusy in the aftertaste.

Amaro Montenegro & Ginger Ale

1 ounce Amaro Montenegro

2 ounces Ginger Ale

Orange Slice

Build liquids in a rocks glass over ice. Stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

Amaro Montenegro is 46 proof (23% ABV). 750ml bottle retails for $26 to $30. Follow Amaro Montengro USA social media here. Be sure to look in photos for the Smoke ‘n Mirrors cocktail that uses Amaro Montenegro, Scotch and orange liqueur.

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All content ©2015 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist

Exploring Amari: Averna, Braulio & Montenegro