From Valorie Clark at Sprudge.com / 04.26.2016
Coffee gets combined with stuff all the time: coffee and cream, coffee and cookies, coffee and professional ambition, coffee and teenaged ennui. This week, we want you to try something new: combining amaro liqueur and coffee. Amaro is a general term for a kind of flavorful European spirit that is gaining popularity in the US, and which is just complex enough to make it a fun challenge to combine with coffee’s own infinite complexities. But instead of handing you another recipe, I sought out the wisdom of a few bartenders to keep you ahead of the curve and explain how to build your own coffee & amaro cocktails at home.
Amaro is an Italian digestif, traditionally served neat in a small glass. Much like coffee, amari come in a wide range of flavors, and different brands have made themselves famous for different flavor notes—Fernet-Branca is bold and minty, while Nonino is more delicate and tamarind-like. Amari recipes are often well-guarded secrets, and producers use specific blends of herbs and spices passed down through generations. Much like the same bean coming from two roasters can taste vastly different, no two amari—even with the same ingredients—taste quite the same. This is what got me excited about the liqueur: finding a way to highlight its natural flavor profiles while still creating something new.