Equally suited to being served neat, hot or shakerato, amaro is practically a cocktail unto itself. Amaro Braulio, an alpine-style amaro, is an archetypal example: It’s full-bodied with layered piney, floral and herbal flavors. But unlike some more austere amari, Braulio is also a workhorse bottle that plays well in a variety of cocktails.
With its inclusion of high-altitude botanicals like peppermint and wormwood, the amaro feels right at home in something wintry and warming, like amaro caldo, which simply lengthens the liqueur with hot water. And when it comes to more elaborate cocktails, Braulio’s layered notes make constructing a complex drink simple. Topping it with a touch of effervescence is an easy way to amplify its flavors. In the Bodega Spritz, for example, the combination of sweet vermouth and aperitivo liqueur plus a soda water topper brings out Braulio’s more fruit-forward notes, while in the Alpine Spritz, it partners with acidic riesling to channel its native home, the brisk Alps.
In classic constructions, swapping in Braulio for other liqueurs can add an unexpected twist. For example, a combination of Braulio and Demerara syrup stands in for vermouth in the Long Look Back, a Manhattan variation with a split whiskey base. The amaro can also act in place of Campari; in The Fixer, it teams up with aquavit to add herbaceousness to the Boulevardier template, while in the Nico it makes for an extra-herbal Negroni. Alternatively, simply add the amaro to a classic format—no swaps necessary. In the Alpine Negroni, Braulio lends its signature gentian notes to the expected combination of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth.
In just about any drink, whether strong and stirred or light and effervescent, the amaro’s chamomile and spearmint notes offer a comforting quality. And that’s something worth calling on all year round.