Amaro Nonino is an Italian herbal liqueur known for its distinct flavor and rich history. Produced by the Nonino family, this traditional amaro has become renowned in Italy and internationally for its high-quality ingredients and craftsmanship.

One of the reasons for Amaro Nonino’s popularity is its versatility. It can be enjoyed neat as a digestif, served over ice, or used as a key ingredient in various cocktails. Let’s explore some delightful cocktails that showcase the unique flavors of Amaro Nonino.

Amaro Nonino Cocktails

1. Paper Plane

The Paper Plane is a modern cocktail that combines Amaro Nonino, bourbon, Aperol, and fresh lemon juice. It offers a balanced blend of bitter, sweet, and citrus flavors.

Created by bartender Sam Ross, it has become a popular choice for those seeking a refreshing and sophisticated drink. Shake equal parts of Amaro Nonino, bourbon, Aperol, and fresh lemon juice with ice, then strain into a glass.

Paper plane cocktail
Paper Plane Cocktail

Garnish with a lemon twist for added aroma. The Paper Plane is a must-try for lovers of unique and well-balanced cocktails.

These are just a few examples of the many cocktails that can be made using Amaro Nonino. Its complex flavor profile and versatility make it a sought-after ingredient among mixologists worldwide.

2. Disgruntled Bee

The Disgruntled Bee is an original cocktail created to add a new dimension to the classic Bee’s Knees. Building upon its fantastic foundation, this concoction incorporates the remarkable Amaro Nonino to elevate the flavor profile.

By adding Amaro Nonino, the bitter and complex notes beautifully intertwine with the gin and honey, resulting in a truly exceptional combination. The addition of Amaro Nonino adds depth and richness, enhancing the overall flavor experience of this beloved cocktail.

3. 25th Hour

If you are a fan of a Manhattan or a Rob Roy, this cocktail is for you!

Combing Scotch, port and Amaro Nonino into a boozy but well balanced drink.

25th hour cocktail up close
25th Hour Cocktail

4. Busted Pipe

This is an exciting riff of an Old Fashioned that only uses two ingredients. Combing Amaro Nonino and bourbon into a cocktail that should be tried.

Busted pipe cocktail up close
Busted Pipe Cocktail

What is the History of Amaro Nonino?

Amaro Nonino traces its origins back to 1897 when Antonio Nonino established the family distillery in Percoto, a small village in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeastern Italy.

Initially, the Nonino family produced grappa, a traditional Italian grape-based spirit. However, it was Benito Nonino, Antonio’s son, who played a pivotal role in the development of Amaro Nonino.

During the 1930s, Benito Nonino experimented with creating a new liqueur using aromatic herbs, roots, and spices. The result was a bitter yet complex amaro quickly gaining popularity among locals.

The recipe for Amaro Nonino remains a closely guarded family secret, passed down through generations, ensuring its unique and consistent flavor.

What is Amaro Nonino Made From?

Amaro Nonino is made from a grappa base distilled from carefully selected grape pomace. The pomace is the solid remains of the grapes after the juice has been extracted for winemaking.

This base spirit is then infused with a blend of botanicals, including gentian root, rhubarb, licorice, saffron, bitter orange, and herbs from the Alpine region.

A bottle of amaro nonino
A Bottle of Amaro Nonino

Combining these ingredients creates a harmonious balance of bitter, sweet, and aromatic flavors.

What Does Amaro Nonino Taste Like?

Amaro Nonino has a unique and complex flavor profile that combines bitterness, sweetness, and aromatic notes.

The distinct taste can vary slightly depending on personal perception and the specific batch, but here is a general description of the flavors you can expect from Amaro Nonino:

  1. Bitterness: As with most amari, bitterness is a prominent characteristic of Amaro Nonino. The bitterness is derived from herbs such as gentian root and rhubarb. It provides a distinctive and refreshing element to the liqueur without being overwhelming.
  2. Sweetness: Despite its bitterness, Amaro Nonino also possesses a noticeable sweetness. The sweetness is well-balanced and helps to counterbalance the bitterness. It comes from the grappa base and the addition of natural sugars.
  3. Aromatic Herbs: Amaro Nonino is infused with aromatic herbs, contributing to its complex flavor. These herbs include licorice, saffron, bitter orange, and Alpine. They add layers of complexity and aromatic nuances to the overall taste.
  4. Citrus Notes: Amaro Nonino often exhibits subtle citrus notes, typically from bitter orange or other citrus peels. These notes provide a bright and refreshing element to the flavor profile.
  5. Herbal and Spicy Undertones: Alongside the bitterness and sweetness, Amaro Nonino can also have herbal and spicy undertones. This can include hints of herbs like sage or thyme and mild spice notes that add depth to the overall taste experience.

When these flavor elements unite, Amaro Nonino balances bitterness, sweetness, and herbal complexity.

It is known for its smooth and well-rounded taste, making it enjoyable to sip on its own or as a key ingredient in cocktails.

It’s worth noting that taste perception is subjective, and individual palates may pick up on different nuances or emphasize certain flavors more than others.

The best way to truly understand the taste of Amaro Nonino is to experience it firsthand and explore its myriad flavors.

What is Amaro Nonino Quintessentia?

Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is a specific expression or variation of Amaro Nonino. It is one of the flagship products of the Nonino distillery and represents a refined and premium version of their amaro.

Quintessentia is made using the same grappa base as the original Amaro Nonino. However, it undergoes a longer aging process and contains a higher concentration of botanicals, resulting in a more complex and intense flavor profile.

The term “Quintessentia” refers to the idea of the essence or the purest form of something. Amaro Nonino Quintessentia represents the epitome of the Nonino family’s dedication to craftsmanship and the pursuit of creating an exceptional amaro cocktail.

In terms of taste, Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is known for its pronounced bitterness, heightened sweetness, and a more robust herbal character. The extended aging process allows the flavors to mellow and integrate further, resulting in a smoother and richer overall taste experience.

Amaro Nonino Quintessentia can be enjoyed in various ways—neat, on the rocks, or as a critical cocktail component. Its depth of flavor and complexity make it a preferred choice for those seeking a premium amaro that can be savored and appreciated.

It’s important to note that Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is a distinct expression within the Amaro Nonino lineup. The original Amaro Nonino is also widely available and cherished for its unique characteristics.

Both expressions offer a taste journey into the world of Amaro Noni

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