Amaro (Italian for “bitter”) is an Italian herbal liqueur that is commonly drunk as an after-dinner digestif. It usually has a bitter-sweet flavor, sometimes syrupy, and has an alcohol content between 16% and 40%.
Similar liqueurs have traditionally been produced throughout Europe. There are local varieties in Hungary, the Netherlands, and France. But the term amaro is applied only to Italian products of this kind.
Amaro is typically produced by macerating herbs, roots, flowers, bark, and/or citrus peels in alcohol, either neutral spirits or wine, mixing the filtrate with sugar syrup, and allowing the mixture to age in casks or bottles.
Every amaro is different, and there are hundreds. Amaro is traditionally made by infusing grape brandy with a (usually secret) mix of herbs, flowers, aromatic bark, citrus peel and spicesa blend that can include anything from cardamom to elderberry flowers. Then it’s sweetened with sugar syrup and aged, sometimes for years. It’s silky, like a liqueur; bitter and sweet in varying degrees; aromatically complex; and, as far as I’m concerned, both delicious and fascinating.
1 part Citrus peels, 1 part Rosemary,1 part thyme,1 part sage,1/2 fennel seeds, 1 part cinnamon sticks, 1/4 cardamom seeds, 1 part rose hips, and 1 part Elderberries.
Grind up all ingredients & pack in a 1/2 gallon mason jar. Fill 3/4 of the jar with brandy.
Heat up a quart of water and one cup of honey or sugar. Once sugar or honey has dissolved take it off heat & let cool. Once it’s cooled pour sweet syrup over herb & brandy mixture. Let sit in a cool dark place for adleast one week, preferably 2 weeks.