I recently conducted a small private amari tour for Casa Mia. I do know my cocktails but amari? Not so much. Once I heard that one of their clients was a mixologist/bartender, I knew I had to step it up.

Tasting Amari in Italy

Amaro literally means ‘bitter’ in Italian. Amari are made all over Italy using local herbs and ingredients. Many of these secret recipes, from the smallest producers to the larger producers now owned by Campari, have been passed down for generations.

The clients were an American couple, on their honeymoon, who wanted to taste amari from small producers, producers that were difficult to find in the States. I started my research mission. It was extremely difficult work.

"Amara" amaro from Sicily

During my research I came across an amaro called AMARA, a feminine and elegant play on the word amaro. The amaro is from Sicily and one of the main ingredients is a blood orange that grows on the slopes of Mt. Etna.

I have a thing about Sicily. I love islands in general and Sicily has really captured my heart, so I was very excited to learn more about this drink.

The company was co-founded in 2013 by young entrepreneurs Giuseppe Liberizzi, an engineer, and Edoardo Strano, an orange producer.

They use no additives. Their farming is sustainable and the oranges are handpicked. Of course the herbs they use are a secret. The unique microclimate of Mt. Etna means the Tarocco oranges grown there are on another level.

I tried Amara and found it a perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness. I’m a fan of the packaging as well. From the moment I opened the bottle and inhaled that incredible scent, I knew Amara was going to be something special.   It was.

"Amara" amaro from Sicily