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Amarosa Cocktail

By FineArtBartender

History Of The Amarosa Cocktail

The Amarosa Cocktail was invented in the 1930′s by H. Losappio.  This gin-based cocktail is a bitter and complicated cocktail, created during in a part of the world famous for their amaros. Italian bartenders have been serving up Campari and Aperol spritzers for centuries now. Afternoon guests may not always want an espresso, but a cocktail with hints of bitter sweetness… which is where the amaros come in.

The gin in this cocktail is self explanatory. If you have ever had a Negroni, you understand the glass of tastiness served up with gin and Campari. The sweet vermouth rounds out the drink. The amarosa cocktail replaces the sweet vermouth with kirschwasser. Kirsch is the German word for cherry, and kirschwasser literally translates to ‘cherry water’. Cherry liqueurs and brandies are sweet, kirschwasser is not and very dry. During the fermentation process, the pits of the cherries are left in the mash, which contributes a slight almond or nutty flavour to the dry cherry based spirit.

Ingredients in The Original Amarosa Cocktailamarosa cocktail in highball glass on ice with straw and lemon garnish

  • 1 ounce of a nice gin
  • 1/2 ounce of Kirschwasser
  • 1/2 ounces Amaro Cora

Preparing that sweet and bitter drink

  1. Take all ingredients and add them over ice in a shaker glass
  2. Shake vigorously 5-10 times
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass, or onto more ice in a highball glass

Amaro Cora is really hard to find now. Production stopped decades ago, and savvy collectors have been stashing bottles at the back of liquor cabinets for safe keeping. Take the time and try a few different amaros to see which one is your preference. If you are thinking of adding this old drink to your cocktail list, you need to find a steady source of a classic amaro. Amaro Montenegro is a traditional Italian amaro as a light and gentle, amber spirit. Hints of sasparilla herbal notes and honey sweetness would complement the gin and kirschwasser components also in your amarosa cocktail.

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