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Floral/Herbal/Amaro Liqueurs

Inhabitants of Europe's mountainous regions have made liqueurs with local flowers and plants for centuries. These include the fragrant, floral crème de violette as well as herbaceous and bitter liqueurs that started out as elixirs to aid indigestion and other ailments. The latter category includes amaro, meaning "bitter," in Italian. While they began as wine-based digestive aids, most modern amari are composed of spirits (usually neutral spirits), a proprietary mix of herbs and botanicals, and sugar or other natural sweetener. Always appropriate neat or with coffee after a meal, floral, herbal and amaro liqueurs also enliven many contemporary and classic cocktails.

    Salers Gentian Apéritif bottle

    Salers Gentian Apéritif

    FranceAuvergne 16.0% ABV

    16.0% ABV

    One of the most classic French aperitifs is a pour of gentiane liqueur on the rocks with a squeeze of lemon. Salers is the oldest gentian liqueur of the Massif Central, birthplace to this style of product. It distinguishes itself with a pure, firm, rustic earthy profile. Unlike its larger rivals, Salers is less sweet and does not add artificial yellow color, revealing a beautiful natural straw color. Enjoy with ice and lemon, lemonade, in the Blond Negroni with gin and Dolin blanc, or as an earthy base note in a variety of cocktails. With the addition of a pinch of salt, Salers takes on herbal, tequila-like flavors. Full details

    Salers Gentian Apéritif label
    Dolin Génépy le Chamois Liqueur bottle

    Dolin Génépy le Chamois Liqueur

    FranceSavoie 45.0% ABV

    45.0% ABV

    Génépy (sometimes spelled Génépi) is a legendary alpine herbal liqueur that dates back many hundreds of years. While comprised of a multitude of alpine herbs, the most prominent is Génépy, a petite variety of artemesia (often translated into English as “mountain sage”) found principally in the high mountains of the Savoy. Its bright herbal and fresh flavors have long been associated with the mountain air and adventure. Today it is still the darling of French ski resorts and fine dining, served on the rocks or with tonic water, and very welcome after a fondue. Using its own alembic still, Dolin has made this Génépy from local farmers’ herbs since 1821. Full details

    Dolin Génépy le Chamois Liqueur label
    Amaro Alta Verde bottle

    Amaro Alta Verde

    ItalyTrentino-Alto Adige 24.0% ABV

    24.0% ABV

    Amaro Alta Verde’s hallmark flavor was common long ago throughout the Adriatic, though seldom found in the last half century. The principal ingredient is assenzio, a variety of wormwood. A complementary blend of alpine herbs, citrus and spice frame and lighten the classic bitter profile. True to its origins, the aromas evoke a summer forest in all its verdant splendor. Upon tasting, Alta Verde yields impressive length and complex bitterness, intertwined with gentle sweetness and bright herbal notes that give balance throughout the palate. Full details

    Amaro Alta Verde label
    Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur bottle

    Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur

    AustriaOberosterreich 32.0% ABV

    32.0% ABV

    For three generations the Purkhart family has produced this all-natural walnut liqueur from the same family recipe, renowned for its balance and exceptionally smooth finish. Each summer the Purkhart family picks fresh green walnuts from wild stands of the delicate “Weinsberg” variety near the village of Sankt Peter in der Au. These walnuts steep for months in grape brandy and for the last month with a variety of spices and alpine botanicals. The result is a rich and flavorful walnut liqueur that is not overly sweet, perfect after dinner, in coffee, cream, or egg drinks. Full details

    Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur label
    Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur of the Alps bottle

    Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur of the Alps

    AustriaSteiermark 35.0% ABV

    35.0% ABV

    Zirbenz draws all of its high alpine flavors and natural earthy red colors from the freshly picked fruit of the Arolla Stone Pine grown in the Austrian Alps. The young full cones are still fresh and sweet, giving a smooth layer of berry fruit over an intricate, pine-floral backbone, with a slight minty freshness. Enjoy on its own as digestive or après-ski, with tonic or soda, or in cocktails incorporating gin or hoppy beer. Handcrafted and bottled in Austria by Josef Hofer, a family distillery since 1797. Full details

    Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur of the Alps label
    Amaro Sfumato Rabarbaro bottle

    Amaro Sfumato Rabarbaro

    ItalyTrentino-Alto Adige 20.0% ABV

    20.0% ABV

    The term Sfumato derives from the Italian word for smoke - ‘fumo’. It is traditionally associated with a style of Renaissance painting characterized by subtle transitions between areas of dark and light. This speaks directly to this amaro’s profile, which marries a dark smokiness with bitter woodsiness from alpine herbs and notes of sweet alpine berries. The main ingredient is a special Rabarbaro (rhubarb) variety that grows in Trentino Alto Adige and Veneto. Enjoy with tonic, grapefruit soda, or whiskey. Full details

    Amaro Sfumato Rabarbaro label
    Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette bottle

    Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette

    AustriaOberosterreich 20.0% ABV

    20.0% ABV

    Among the native wildflowers found in the Alps are the Queen Charlotte and March Violets. Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette captures their fragrance and taste on a robust brandy base. This is a true expression, without any added vanilla or fruit, working as the magical bridging ingredient in so many classic cocktails. Enjoy this liqueur in classics such as the Aviation or Blue Moon, or with dry or sweet sparkling wines. Full details

    Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette label