There is a rich tradition of aperitivos in Italy. A meal always starts with a short beverage to open up the appetite and prepare the body for the food to come. Anything from wine to champagne will work, but there is something special about the bitter family of libations which literally creates a flavor in your mouth that begs to be sated with an antipasto such as cured meats.
Luxardo, maker of the ubiquitous Maraschino liqueur have recently introduced their version of the bitter, low-proof amaro which fits nicely in between Campari and Aperol.
Luxardo Aperitivo (22 proof)
Visual: Bright candy apple red.
Nose: Immediate orange with a slighter backdrop of herbs.
Taste: Sweeter than I expected, with an almost hard candy-like flavor. The bitterness is very much in the background preferring to play second fiddle to sweet orange. Very easy to drink and approachable by anyone who wants to move beyond overly saccharine fruit-tinis.
Finish: A slight bitter quality reminds the palate that this is indeed an amaro. Somewhat liqueur-like in approach.
Overall: A perfect soul mate for ice and a splash of soda water. If you’re looking for a lighter alternative to try in a Negroni cocktail, look no further. This will bring the holy trinity of gin, vermouth and amaro together in a friendly and welcoming camaraderie.
GSN Rating: B+
For more information go to: Anchor Distilling