It seems like Amaro Lucano is everywhere right now. It is the official Amaro partner of The Asia’s 50 Best Bars & The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022 edition! If you have a bottle of Amaro Lucano already, time to dust it off and start drinking it. If not, welcome to the world of Amaro Lucano!
Born in the small town of Pisticci in one of my favorite parts of Italy, Basilicata aka the instep of the book that is Southern Italy. (Lucano is another name for Basilicata.) Amaro Lucano, one of the most famous Italian herbal liqueurs, was the brainchild of the Vena family, in particular pastry chef, Pasquale Vena. In the late 1800’s, he created the recipe of 30 herbs that would remain sacred to this day.
It became so popular that in 1900, the family became the official supplier to the House of Savoy and thus they were allowed to put their coat of arms on each bottle, where you can still see it today.
What is Amaro Lucano
Although still a secret recipe, the family does reveal a few of the botanicals used in production: Holy Thistle, musk yarrow, bitter orange peel, clary sage flower, gentian, angelica, artemisia absinthium, Roman wormwood (artemisia pontica), and so many other different herbs and essential oils.
This mix of herbs is infused with a solution of pure alcohol and water in large tanks and then aged for five months. More flavors are added, then it is filtered and the finished product is bottled. What emerges is a delicate blend of different herbs with equal amounts of sweetness with a bitter edge.
How does Amaro Lucano taste
Amaro Lucano is bitter enough to be firmly planted in the Amaro category. They also have a special Amaro Lucano Anniversario which I have not tried yet.
- Color: Dark Chocolate, almost deep purple hue
- Nose: You can miss those herbel notes: anise, wormwood, pine, and orange zest!
- Taste: The bitter edge of the gentian cuts through the floral notes and the cherry sweetness to be a perfect balance of all.
- Finish: The herbs win out and the slight bitter flavor lingers on it your mouth
- Alcohol: 28%
- Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2014
- Three stars at the Superior Taste Award 2014
- Silver Medal (Gold Medal for the Caffè Lucano) at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Brussels
Where you can buy Amaro Lucano
How you drink Amaro Lucano
Amaro Lucano is served either neat or over ice in a rocks glass with an orange peel, but it can definitely be used in cocktails. You can substitute it for sweet vermouth in any cocktail, especially a big, bold boozy cocktail like the Boulevardier or any Negroni-style drinks. The fruity sweetness enhances the caramel flavors of the bourbon and makes it unforgettable.
Cocktails made with Amaro Lucano
Why Lush Life loves it
I am an Amaro fan and on top of that adore a digestivo, so my cupboard is full of Amari. I turn to Amaro Lucano when I want a traditional Italian liqueur with a low alcohol content and decisive taste. I can’t help thinking its jammy cherry taste would go fabulously with a dark chocolate chaser!
More Lush Guides to Liquor!
Want to know more about the spirits that go into your cocktails? Check out my Lush Guides to Liquor!
- Lush Guide to Grenadine – the syrup that’s in almost all your favorite cocktails
- Lush Guide to Avallen – the new calvados that is so fabulous in cocktails
- Lush Guide to Rampur Double Cask Indian Single Malt Whisky – the premier Indian whisky
- Lush Guide to Starward Left-Field Whisky – Australia’s whisky that is fantastic in cocktails
- Lush Guide to Jägermeister – more than just J-bombs!
- Lush Guide to Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale Gin – Tanqueray makes all sorts of different gins – this one is a blackberry lover’s dream
- Lush Guide to Black Cow Vodka – Actually made out of cheese!
- Lush Guide to Daddy Rack Tennessee Straight Whiskey – Discover the difference that being made in Tennessee makes!
- Lush Guide to Italicus – Rosolio di Bergamatto – the wunderkind spirit that takes the humble bergamot and makes magic
- Lush Guide to Coole Swan Irish Cream Liqueur – a wonderful addition to the Irish Cream category
Let me know what you think of Amaro Lucano by tagging me @alushlifemanual on instagram
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