Amaro Santoni Managing Partner, Luca Missaglia, and I dug deep into the history and bitter sweet flavor profile of the classic Italian amaro, and Amaro Santoni's fresh and vibrant take on this classic after dinner liqueur and digestif.
Amaro, the Italian word for bitter, often refers to the classic Italian after dinner liqueur. Its flavor profile is bitter sweet with an alcohol content of about 15% to 40%. Amaro is made by macerating herbs, roots, flowers, bark, citrus peels in alcohol. It's then filtered and mixed with a simple syrup. There are many different kinds of Amaro and they each have a unique recipe of macerated herbs and roots. If you're familiar with Amaro the brands you probably know are Averna, Montenegro, Ramazzotti, and Lucano, which comes from the Basilicata region. Recipes for Amaro are all closely guarded, and many of them were originally created in monasteries or pharmacies. When you travel to Italy and visit monasteries, you'll find unique liqueurs and Amaro in monastery gift shops.
Amaro is drunk in a small glass straight up or over ice after dinner as a digestif to help with digestion.
Amaro Santoni is unique because the dominant part of its flavor profile is rhubarb, along with 33 other herbs. It also has flavor notes of citrus, olive leaves, and iris. The recipe was created by Amaro Santoni owner, Gabriello Santoni, in 1961.
Where is Amaro Santoni made?
Amaro Santoni is quintessentially Tuscan and comes from a region that's famous for artisanal products, from food to fashion. Florence is the birthplace of Count Negroni, the famous cocktail that bears his name. Not far from Florence in the Tuscan hills where Brunello wine is made is the Tuscan town famous for thermal baths, Chianciano Terme. It's here that Amaro Santoni is made and bottled.
As of mid to late 2024 Amaro Santoni will launch its new and expanded Chianciano Terme bottling facility, large enough to handle the growing demand for their Amaro. But that's not all. Amaro Santoni has also created an amazing botanical garden of their very own where all of their herbs and roots will be grown for their Amaro. A renowned Florence university will oversee the botanical garden and work hand-in-hand with the Amaro Santoni company to create new flavor profiles. The botanical garden is already in place and operative but as of late 2024 the gardens will be open to visitors along with other highlights for visitors soon to be revealed by the company.
The Amaro Santoni bottle
Amaro Santoni comes in a gorgeous bottle that reflects its Tuscan heritage. The design of the upper part of the bottle comes from the exquisite 1436 Brunelleschi dome of Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral. The bottle's label is bright and floral and reminiscent of the herbs and flowers used in the Amaro Santoni herbal maceration.
Amaro Santoni is at its best served as an aperitivo
There's no doubt that Amaro Santoni is delicious as an after dinner liqueur or digestif but it's at its best served as an aperitivo or cocktail.
A favorite recipe is a Santoni Spritz: 2 parts Amaro Santoni, and 4 parts Prosecco, garnished with an olive.
Try Amaro Santoni with dry white wine and grapefruit juice (or grapefruit soda) and a few olives to nibble on.
Amaro Santoni Negroni: 1 part Amaro Santoni, 1 part Italian red vermouth, 1 part gin.
Amaro Santoni Americano: 2 parts Amaro Santoni, 1 part red vermouth, 2 parts soda water.
Where can you buy Amaro Santoni?
One option is to purchase it directly from the Amaro Santoni company.
Amaro Santoni is available in 16 different countries so check with your favorite liquor store to find out where you can purchase it. It's also available through the U.S. based Total Wine online shop, and the international online Spirit Academy.
Amaro Santoni food pairings
Amaro Santoni is delicious with all kinds of Tuscan meats and salumi products. It's also delicious with pappa al pomodoro, a Tuscan thick soup made with fresh tomatoes, bread, olive oil, garlic and basil originally from the Siena area in Tuscany. Serve it hot or cold.
More Tuscan food & drink
Montalcino is where the famed Brunello wine is made
The best Italian wine blends and the Super Tuscans
Spannocchia 13th century Tuscan estate: food & wine itineraries
Cortona Day Trip in the Arezzo Tuscan province
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