Italy’s digestif amari liqueurs, with Federico Malavenda

Italian digestif amaro liqueurs with Federico Malavenda of Bistecca Restaurant

If you haven’t yet explored Italy’s wonderful array of digestif amari, I’d like to strongly encourage you to do so.

Amari is the plural of amaro, which means ‘bitter’ in Italian. It’s also the name given the country’s unique liqueurs that are intensely bitter and often very sweet too, flavoured with herbs, spices and other botanicals.

The theme of this Drinks Adventures podcast episode has been inspired by the amari degustation event organised by the Italian Cultural institute, Sydney at its premises in December 2021, during the World Week of Italian Cuisine.

The degustation featured a tasting of seven Italian amari and was presented by our expert today, Federico Malavenda.

The Italian Cultural Institute is an official branch of the Italian government, dedicated to the promotion of Italian culture in Australia through the organisation and support of events, exhibitions and festivals, in collaboration with major local institutions. This episode has been produced with their support.

  • Click here to open episode in your podcast player

Federico Malavenda is bar manager at Bistecca Restaurant in Sydney, which has a menu of no less than 85 different amari.

This was recognised at the Wine List of the Year Awards in late 2021, when Bistecca picked up the gong for Best Digestif List.

Which amaro to buy

If you want to continue your exploration of the amari we’ve covered in this episode, they’re mostly pretty easy to find at retailers across Australia:

  • Braulio;
  • Cynar;
  • Poli Vaca Mora;
  • Cappelletti Sfumato;
  • Amara Blood Orange;
  • Toro Centerba; and
  • Averna.

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