A very good book on Amaro and other assorted Italian bitters along with extensive cocktail and some cooking recipes.
Subtitle: THE SPIRITED WORLD OF BITTERSWEET, HERBAL LIQUEURS WITH COCKTAILS, RECIPES AND FORMULAS
Author: Brad Thomas Parsons
Publisher: Ten Speed Press, Berkeley California (tenspeedpress.com)
Type: Reference and Recipes
Binding: Hardcover, Octavo 271 pages, Illustrated
Cost: $26 Retail
REVIEWED BY: Chris Carlsson, Spirits Review.com
Notes: Mr Parsons is the author of Bitters A Spirited History of A Classic Cure-All which we reviewed last year. Amaro is a more specialized book with deals with one of the more specific aspects or types of bitters , more specifically a sub species of bitter tonics, the Amaro family, the best known ones being Campari and Aperol . He also includes the Fernet family as a sub category but I personally beg to differ, feeling it is a different family of bitter tonics altogether. Luckily for you dear reader since he does include them in this book you get an extensive review and some history of them also in this book. The book itself covers a brief history of Amaro, some profiles of the more popular ones and their cheerleaders in the cocktail industry, then proceeds to get into the cocktail section.
The cocktail section is divided into classics and moderns, with an extensive selection of modern cocktails. He then goes on with a short section on making your own amaro, and then onto a cooking and recipe section. Mr. Parson also includes a resources section and a spirited reading section to track down further resources. Under the botanical needs category he list five different suppliers, but does not list one of my favorites, healing spirits herb farm in Avoca New York. Healing Spirits grows an extensive selection of herbs, organically grown and available either fresh or dried along with an extensive list of bitter tinctures.
Final Thoughts: Well-written and entertaining, it does a good job of explaining the wildly popular Amaro family and a great amaro specific cocktail recipe guide. Well not the most extensive book on the subject, it is an excellent start for most readers . I recommend it for people who wish to explore Amari and bitters in general.
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