One look at the bottle of Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Bathtub…
An amaro is a type of Italian herbal liqueur that is typically drunk as a digestif. The word “Amaro” is Italian for “bitter,” and amaros often have a bitter note to them courtesy of the variety of herbs that flavor them, not unlike the flavors that you might find in bitters. Ramazzotti Amaro is a liqueur that has been in production, with little change to the original recipe, for nearly 200 years. It was first created in 1815 by Ausano Ramazzotti and is often cited as bring Italy’s first amaro liqueur. It is flavored with a blend of thirty three different herbs and spices, all of which come together to give this drink a very unique flavor profile.
I’m not always a big fan of amaros, but I really like Ramazzotti Amaro. The slightly syrupy liqueur smells strikingly like root beer, with notes of licorice, anise, cinnamon, cardamom, cherry and orange. It does have a bitterness to it when you take a sip, but it’s quite mild and very reminiscent of orange peel, and the liqueur has enough sweetness that the bitterness doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors. It is great with just a little bit of ice, but because it is so reminiscent of root beer, it also happens to go exceptionally well with a little soda water to give it some lift. If you want to cut that bitterness a bit, then add a small splash of Coke or actual root beer to it to highlight some of the sweeter notes without covering up all those great spices.
Worth another round? Definitely. I certainly hope that the secret combination of herbs and spices in this liqueur is good for digestion, because it is very easy to drink by itself (I prefer it with a little ice) and I wouldn’t mind having just one more reason to pour myself a glass on a regular basis.