Minnesota fernet? Pineapple amaro? Our collective thirst for the Italian liqueur amaro is no bitter pill. So fully have we embraced the low-alcohol, bark and botanical-based digestif that it was only a matter of time before American-made versions began to blossom.
Around the turn of our current decade, companies like Root in Pennsylvania and Leopold Bros.in Colorado launched some of the first serious forays into the domain of digestifs. Today, producers from Buffalo to Los Angeles are on the forefront of a second wave of homegrown amaros. These are 10 standouts to check out right now.
4: GULCH DISTILLERS BURRONE FERNET
Started by Tyrrell Hibbard and Steffen Rasile in Helena, Mont., in 2015, this impressive fernet is a beautifully balanced blend of saffron, chamomile, mint, myrrh, rhubarb and other local botanicals macerated in a Montana-sourced grain base. Not only are the intense but well-mingled flavors harmonious, but the finish leaves you with a just-right restrained bitterness in this 71-proof amaro. “Amaro is the main reason I got into the distilling business,” says Rasile. “I was always amazed by the wide variety of flavors and complexity of a single category liquor.”