According to Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons — and several drink menus throughout the bay — the centuries-old ingredient that is amaro truly is seeing a revival.
Downtown St. Pete’s The Mill puts the bittersweet Italian liqueur in its Millhattan (Forty Creek Barrel Select, Amaro Nonino, Lacuesta Vermouth, Manzanilla Sherry, Spanish bitters, Jack Rudy Aromatic Bitters). Hotel Bar in downtown Tampa uses it for Hanky Panky (Ford’s Gin, Bonal, fernet, Amaro Montenegro). The Italian Mule (Death’s Door Gin, Amaro Montenegro, lime, Angostura bitters, ginger beer) served at St. Pete’s Noble Crust features it. And guests will also find it in Tampa-based Edison: Food+Drink Lab’s Man About Town (Edison blend Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Rosso Ambrato Vermouth, Amaro Nonino).
Look for amari, an herbaceous category that liqueurs like Fernet-Branca, Campari and Averna are members of, in cocktails while you’re hitting the town — and order one. —MH
Montenegro Old Fashioned
2 ounces bourbon (we used Michter’s)
1 ounce Amaro Montenegro
1/2 ounce orange-blossom honey
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Luxardo cherry, or another high-quality cocktail cherry
Fill a cocktail mixer with ice and add bourbon, Montenegro, honey and bitters. Stir with a bar spoon for 30 seconds — no more, no less. Fill a rocks glass with ice and strain in cocktail. Twist an orange peel and use it as a garnish alongside a cherry. —CF