Whether you like your after-dinner drink citrusy or sweet, one of these Italian digestifs will please your taste buds. Just bring an adventurous palate to your local liquor store.
THE FRUITY ONE
Region: Friuli Taste: The family that produces Amaro Nonino Quintessentia has specialized in grappa since 1897, a legacy that has its advantages—namely, easy access to high-quality grapes that, with the tang of bitter orange, give Nonino a fruitier flavor.
THE STARTER OPTION
Region: Sicily Taste: One of the most widely available amari, Averna’s citrusy zing balances the bitterness of sarsaparilla and other roots that monks used more than 150 years ago when they dreamed up the formula.
FOR SWEET TEETH
Region: Marche Taste: The folks who make Amaro Sibilla are mum about the recipe except for two facts: The herbal mix is prepared over a wood fire, and the drink’s sweetness comes from a honey sourced in the Sibillini Mountains.
Region: Lombardy Taste: There was so much enthusiasm for the smooth flavors of Amaro Braulio in the drink industry, its tiny producer made it available in America for the first time last year. So what’s all the fuss about? Thanks to juniper, peppermint, and other alpine botanicals, it’s like a forest in a bottle.
ONE TO SIP ABROAD
Region: Umbria Taste: Why hasn’t Amaro al Tartufo caught on in the United States yet? It tastes like liquid black licorice with a faint earthy funk. The latter comes from Umbrian truffles. When in Italy, order it—and keep an open mind.