Tag Archives: Amaro & aperitifs & digestifs


15 Feb

If ever I’m craving a specific drink it’s inevitably this one.
If ever I fancy a drink and don’t know what to make it’s this I turn to.
And if anyone asks me what my favourite drink is, although I’m not sure I really have one, this name is always what I answer

It’s a Negroni- simple to make, easy to source all the ingredients and ways delicious.


I first had one of these at Quo Vadis (if you order one there it’s worth asking if you can have it without one of their ridiculously large ice-balls that make it impossible to enjoy your drink) and although I’ve had many since I don’t think anyone does them better

The recipe is simple- equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth stirred together with ice- so can be whipped up in a matter of seconds.

The taste is equal parts sweet and bitter with a strong fruit/ citrus flavour reminiscent of orange or grapefruit,

Though perfect as an aperitif this drink can be enjoyed at any time and if needed can be lengthened with orange or grapefruit juice or even soda or tonic water


Return To Amor Y Amargo

29 Apr

I first visited Amor Y Amargo nearly 4 years ago and the experience as so bad I had no intention of ever going back. A very drunk and sloppy bar maid meant the drinks were poor and the service poorer. But now some time has passed we figured we’d give it another go.

This time we tried a gin & tonic and a Di Pompelmo. The drinks were a lot better- great in fact- but the bar seems to suffer from its own success as it was packed yet uninviting. It seemed its reputation and hipster-vibe was enough to fill it and no-one seemed interested in making us welcome (we had to search and ask multiple times for menus) and after just one drink (we planned on more but gave up after many attempts to order another) we headed off to find somewhere where the drinks may not be as good but at least we were wanted.

It was such a shame as a bar specialising in bitter drinks and amaro is just the type of place I’d love to visit more whilst exploring their menu and bottles but I guess two bad visits is enough to convince me not to try again.


Zucca Rabarbaro

11 Jan

Until recently Zucca Rabarbaro was unknown to me. But I love rhubarb and when I spotted it whilst browsing Masters of Malt (as you do) I couldn’t resist adding a botle to my cart. If that is out of stock they also have plenty of other Zuccas available.

According to Wikipedia,  Zucca is an Italian aperitif with a base of rhubarb often mixed with ice and water.


On its own the drink is slightly bitter with a strong burnt sugar taste. It tastes ‘dark’ and the sweetness is cut through with a mild bitterness and a treacy/ burnt sugar taste which is very pleasant. The smell and taste are like a much milder Campari but with less herbs and bitters. A nice dirnk which I would imagine would appeal to more palates than Campari does.


I wanted a longer drink with a bit of fizz and fortunately had some Prosecco in the fridge so combined the two so see what I got and was really pleased. The Prosecco easy overpowered the Zucca though so it needed a lot more than you would think. Combined they made a refreshing and unusual drink.

A Taste of Palmermo

16 Sep


My endless search for delicious bitter drinks continues with two drinks purchased in France sold by Apero Sans Alcohol under their Palermo label.


First up is Amarino (Amer is French for bitter and Amaro are a style of bitter drink)

The drink is bright red and smells of sugar and citrus with a slight bitter hint.

When poured it’s a lot less syrupy than it looks and the taste is like a milder Camapri. Citrus bitterness mixed with sweetness.

The serving suggestion is over ice or with fizzy water and a citrus or orange peel twist.

All in all this is a nice drink, less bitter than I hoped, but very drinkable and an ideal addition to a drinks cabinet- especially if you’re looking for something with no alcohol.


Second is Gentiane (Gentian root- one of the bitterist substances known- is often used in drinks as a bittering agent. You can read more about it here)

The drink is bright yellow though again fortunately not as sugary and syrupy as it would appear.

The smell is familiar to anyone who has smelt a gentian drink before- sweet combined with dampy (sometimes even mouldy) wood.

The taste follows the smell with a sweet front taste quickly followed by a bitter, woody taste which lingers as the mouth dries.

A more unique taste this drink is recommended to also be drunk over ice or with fizzy water but this time also with Cassis or tonic water.

An enjoyable drink which although it isn’t as bitter as I would like this makes it very quaffable so it’s a good thing it has no alcohol.

The Search Continues…

6 Sep


My continuous search for more bitter drinks, and especially bitter soft drinks, continues and I was delighted to find Venezzio Bitter on a recent trip to a French supermarket.

Tasting like a lighter, fizzy and ‘thinner’ version of Campari with woody after tones this was gorgeous over ice. It froths up delighfully, and very pink, when poured which added to the spectacle.

Thankfully you can get it in the uk so I’ll be stocking up soon.

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