Plan a classy candlelight dinner for just the two of you and pour out this digestif neat in a glass filled with ice and decorated with an orange peel. Add a cherry on the top and enjoy the romantic evening.
The Amaro Nonino was found in Friuli, Italy by a distiller named Antonio Nonino back in 1992. The term ‘Amaro’ is used for bitter in Latin. A variety of ‘Amari’ was consumed by The Roman nobles after dinner. The digestif caught the attention of the monks, who decided to switch from wine to alcohol. Later the Italians started imbibing it as a health tonic, and it became commonly available at the pharmacies.
Amaro is typically herbal liqueur produced by soaking roots, flowers, bark, peels, and herbs in alcohol to macerate. Once filtered, it is mixed with sugar syrup and aged further. The Nonino family had a reputation for Nonino Grappa; thus, Antonio gave the traditional Amaro a twist of grappa.
The most distinguishing feature of Nonino Amaro is the use of ‘grappa’ as a base. It uses various herbs, spices, and roots like saffron, tamarind, gentian, licorice, rhubarb, cinchona bark, sweet and bitter orange, quassia bark, and galenga, along with caramelized sugar. They are all infused in grappa and a bit of grain alcohol and left for aging in barriques.
It is a delicious aperitif with a golden amber coppery color, less bitter than other Amari. Open the bottle for an extraordinary aroma of alpine herbs and botanicals with a whiff of candied orange peels. Indulge in the smooth texture, which is sweet and leaves a pleasantly bitter aftertaste.
Last but not least, you ought to know that the alcohol percentage is between 16%-40% ABV.
As compared to other Amari, this aperitif is costly. The Amaro Nonino Quintessentia price ranges from $44.99- $54.99 for a 750ml bottle, whereas the Amaro Nonino Mini Shot Quintessentia costs $25.95 for a 100ml. The price more or less varies across the United States depending on the suppliers.
So keep this bitter for a special occasion and reveal it only to show off your exclusive collection of liqueur.
Just in case you feel like swapping Nonino Amaro with more reasonable options. Here are a few alternatives to kill the curiosity.
The elder yet sweeter sibling of Nonino Amaro, Montenegro is a first-timer if you’ve just stepped into Amari. With 40 different botanicals, this one has a caramel and cola aftertaste. It has 23% ABV and costs around $35 for 750ml.
This sibling is floral and embraces fresh herbs. She shines brightly into a highball with a hint of orange and lemon. It would cost an average price of $24-$34 for a 750ml with a mid-range alcohol content of 29% ABV.
Each Amari has a specific bond with another type of liqueur and stands out in either margaritas or other sodas. The Nonino Amaro suits cocktails best. So let’s get boozed up and enjoy Nonino drop by drop.
▪ The Amaro Nonino Manhattan
Let’s fill up those party pitchers with ice and start with this easy cocktail. Add double quantity of bourbon or rye whiskey and half of Amaro. Put in 2-4 dashes of bitters; lavender is a good option for bitter. Then garnish with Maraschino cherries and orange peels.
Stir well and enjoy this concoction while you hit the roof.
▪ Paper Plane
Get ready to prepare the “modern classic” with the ingredients present in your standard home bar. All you need is Nonino Amaro, Aperol, bourbon, and lemon juice. This is an equal parts cocktail, so no need to remember portions; just put them all in equally.
Let’s get shaking! Serve this freaking delicious stuff in your favorite cocktail glasses.
▪ Pressure Drop
Through all the chilly winter evenings, this cocktail brings warmth to all the admirers of gin. Take out your coupe glasses and add Amaro Nonino, pear brandy, and angostura bitters in equal quantity. Pour our old tom gin and dry vermouth almost half of the others.
Use a few large ice cubes and take a sip of the heavenly and creamy Pressure Drop.
Although pricey, Nonino Amaro does stand out in terms of aroma and flavor. It is even great for mixing as it complements the textures and blends naturally to create some boozy, refreshing cocktails. It has a class even when served neat, simply on the rocks. The Nonino Amaro grapes distillate is a must-have aperitif for lavish parties with over-indulgence in food.