Saturday, July 08, 2006

Gli Amari


Crodino. One of the typical Italian amari or bitter drinks. Calling them "bitter" is a little misleading. Yes, they ARE bitter but only when compared to the sickly sweet of mainstream soda. There is still sugar in there but it is counter to the refreshing, quenching effect of the acidity and herbal bitterness. There are several other types but this one is my favourite.

Well chilled, straight up, or with a slice of lemon, it is the perfect foil for the heat after a day spent 'in giro'.

3 comments:

seantimberlake said...

Excellent. I love pretty much all the amari, especially Cynar. And a lovely Campari soda on a warm day? Divine!cweuhw

Kristina said...

I also like the idea and the taste of "amari." When we were making our rounds this past summer, saying goodbye to friends and relatives in Sicily, a bar- owning uncle offered one to me (my first) and I very much enjoyed it. I too don't appreciate sickly sweet pop, but would spring for an amaro any hot day--I'm also quite a recent fan of "chinotto," which incidentally accompanies fried or heavy food very nicely! Do you like chinotto? What brands are available there?

Mary said...

I aperitivi e digestivi are both in the bitter end of the camp to varying degrees. The milder tasting aperitivi like Crodino and chinotto (all non-alcoholic) or a Campari and soda are a great appetite stimulant and do accompany fried food remarkably well. Brio is readily available in larger cities in NZ as are the San Pellegrino versions (most supermarkets), although the aranciata and limonata are more commmon.

Cynar is a great digestive.. I like the more mild ones (such as Averna) available here but when in Italy I drink the stronger ones which just complement the food so well. Most of these have some sweetness but in balance with the bitter component. Like other regions, the Calabrese have a plethora of digestivi. Intensley flavoured with anise, bergamot and other regional herbs/citrus, I always prefer to stay in for these rather than go out for a drink after a meal, except, of course, for una passeggiata.