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What is Amaro?

Not sure what amaro is, or what it has to do with our non-alcoholic drinks? You’ve come to the right place. Or visit our FAQ page for more answers.

Amaro (Italian for "bitter") is a type of old school Italian liqueur with a bittersweet flavor. Recipes are typically kept secret, but amaro is typically made by infusing dozens or even hundreds of botanicals, including citrus peels, herbs, roots, and spices into a neutral alcohol base. Most producers across Italy trace their secret family recipes back to the 1800s and earlier, but who are we to fact check?

We call our drinks amaro club sodas because we take flavor inspiration from amaro, using similar botanical blends to make a light and refreshing version, without the alcohol.

Our very first leisure soda recipes borrow flavor ideas from this old school Italian drink called amaro, a drink no one has ever heard of, for a few reasons.

First, it’s fun to share new drinks with people. I still remember learning about amaro and trying it for the first time. My friend described it as bittersweet, made with dozens or even hundreds of botanicals, including citrus peels, herbs, roots, and spices. He said it’s not for everyone, but he hinted that maybe I was special. Maybe I would like it.

Second, amaro is so important to Italian leisure culture. In Italy, beginning and ending a meal with a drink (also known as the aperitivo and digestivo) is an important ritual and amaro is one of the most common. Every village has their own unique formulas and recipes that starts with what can be foraged and farmed locally, and each village will tell you theirs is the best.

Third, the potency of the botanical extracts in amaro can help you relax, settle down, and reconnect. That’s why we only use real botanical extracts, for maximum potency. Today, you could call them adaptogens or nervines, but we've never been much for following the trends. We won’t touch the stripped down, ineffective, mass market alternatives known as “natural flavors."

If you want to learn more about amaro, check out Brad Thomas Parsons' fantastic book, Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs. It was one of my first entry points into this world, and I still refer to it often.