GSN Review: Amaro Lucano

Amaro Lucano was founded in 1894 by Pasquale Vena, best known for its historic amaro produced in Pisticci (Matera) according to an ancient recipe handed down from generation to generation. In addition to Amaro Lucano, their product range includes other Italian liqueurs such as P.G.I. Limoncello, Sambuca, Caffé, F.lli Vena ranges, as well as the Anniversario line celebrating the company’s 120th anniversary. Today, Amaro Lucano is present in more than 30 countries around the world. 

In 2022, Amaro Lucano announced its partnership with the 50 Best Bars awards as the official amaro sponsor of The World’s 50 Best Bars and Asia’s 50 Best Bars. Asia’s list of winning locales was announced on April 28, 2022, and the worldwide edition will be unveiled on October 4, 2022 in Barcelona.

First published in 2009, the prestigious list of The World’s 50 Best Bars recognizes the best of the international drinks industry and provides an annual guide to the world’s top drinking destinations. It is an important global recognition for bars, whose placement in the lists consecrates visibility, prestige, and increased clientele. Amaro Lucano is the only partner in the amaro category as sponsor. Their involvement with the awards underlines the company’s prioritization of becoming further involved with the global bartending scene.

GSN’s Remarks: A tasty and traditional amaro that has just the right amount of bitterness. Somewhat viscous, with a heavy mouthfeel, there is a good balance between the sweet and bitter, with rich notes of foraged forest floor herbs and garden herbs. We like this in a Manhattan in place of sweet vermouth, for a darker take on the classic. We’ve also been enjoying it on the rocks with an orange wheel. Quite refreshing and a great opener to the evening’s festivities. Alla Salute! GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Amaro Lucano


GSN Review: Amaro Lucano

amaro-lucano-70clOur story begins in Naples, Italy in the late 1800’s with a man named Pasquale Vena.  He had traveled to the capital of Campania with his brothers to emigrate to the land of dreams, America.  But, something held Pasquale back, and instead he settled down to a simple life of a baker and pastry chef in Naples.  He then moved to Pisticci Scalo where he opened Coffee Vena in 1894 and began working on an amaro which would eventually be called Amaro Lucano.

Created from a blend of over 30 herbs, by the turn of the century, the beverage proved so popular that the House of Savoy hired Vena as their official supplier.  At the time, Umberto I was ruling the country but was assassinated by an Italian-American named Gaetano Bresci.  If you feel inclined you should look into this fascinating story.  Even though Bresci was guilty and sentenced to life in prison, he became a folk hero. Today there is even a monument to him in Carrara, Italy and a street was named after him as recently as 1976 in Prato, Italy.  Anyway, getting back to the Vena family, they continued to have success over the years and the company now makes sambuca, limoncello and a coffee flavored liqueur.

Amaro Lucano (56 proof)
Visual: Dark coffee brown.
Nose: Quite herbal and slightly medicinal with a root beer character.
Taste: Initially sweet, quickly developing into a bitter edge.  I’m reminded of sassafras.  Plenty of herb character here and just the right balance of sugar to keep things from getting too intense.
Finish: Medium long with a sweet herbal candy finish.
Overall: A hearty amaro that has a stronger, dark, root presence than many.  A few ounces of this over ice with a slice of orange or a twist of lemon makes for a great welcome home at the end of the day.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: The Spirit of Italy