Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs

Brad Thomas Parsons. Ten Speed, $26 (280p) ISBN 978-1-60774-748-2
Europeans have been enjoying bittersweet liquors for hundreds of years, but Americans have only recently begun to appreciate the flavor profiles of this class of liqueurs. Collectively known as amari in Italian, they display a broad range of flavors, and Parsons (Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All) does a terrific job of showcasing them in this collection of over 100 recipes. Parsons begins at the beginning, recounting the history of amaro and highlighting some of the genre’s most passionate bartenders and their respective bars before digging into specific brands: Campari, Luxardo, Cynar, Jagermeister, and dozens of lesser-known but equally interesting varieties. Parsons’s recipes are painfully specific in regard to ingredients and preparation for the book’s cocktails, but once readers have a shelf of amari and a few good bottles of gin, bourbon, or rum on hand, they’ll find that the vast majority of the book’s recipes come together with a minimum of fuss. Classics such as the boulevardier and negroni are hard to mess up and can serve as a gateway to more nuanced cocktails such as the cynara, a mix of bourbon, Aperol, and Cynar cooled with an ice cube infused with bitters. And if that isn’t enough, Parsons closes with a chapter on crafting one’s own amari and tips for incorporating the liqueurs into milkshakes and other desserts. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2016
Release date: 10/11/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 280 pages - 978-1-60774-748-2
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