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When T-amaro Comes

January 13, 2019

Because sometimes it doesn’t! I sent my bestie in Alaska some of my homemade amaro. She was excited about the package and sent me a photo - which was of my torn packing envelope... and a bottle of perfume, some chocolate, and several hair products. No booze to be found. What THEE HELL, USPS? I hope some other lady is not using amaro, mandarin liqueur, and Oregon absinthe in her hair 😆

Anyway! Have you ever made amaro? It’s a lot trickier than I thought. A black box with bitter ingredients is strange to navigate. I made two types, one with a base of coffee bean and Oregon hazelnuts, the other with hazelnuts and pecans. I roughly based my bitter components on the recipes in the great Amaro book by @btparsons and what I consider to be my superior palate 😉



1/2 c Oregon hazelnuts

1/2 c coffee beans

1/4 c cacao nibs

7 cardamom pods

1 tbsp wild cherry bark

1 tsp elderberries

1 tsp bitter orange

1/2 tsp prickly ash

2 cinnamon sticks



1/2 c Oregon hazelnuts

1/2 c pecans

1 tbsp bitter orange

1 tbsp gentian root

1 tsp elderberries

1 tsp wild cherry bark

1 tsp prickly ash

2 cinnamon sticks

1 hibiscus flower

strips and zest of one grapefruit


A few of things I found are 1) bitter components do not end up tasting like you think they will 2) I guess I wasn’t shaking my jars enough because during the 2-week post-sugar phase, my sugar crystallized and I ended up needing to doctor it with more syrup 3) I used Everclear 190 and my end product was definitely burny. I may try an overproof vodka on my next go.

So I doctored up my end results with some more demerara and brown sugar syrups and put it in some cute bottles and beautiful glassware by @itsnotjustcocktails so the burning of the face would be less unpleasant 😄 It also mellows with more time in the bottles.

I’d love to hear about your amaro experiences! Send me ideas or links to posts. It’s definitely something I want to delve into - working with various herbs and barks makes me feel like a Bitter Witch. A title I definitely want in my repertoire 🖤🔮

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