Introducing Amaro Amara | Certa

#Sicily #Spirits

Introducing Amaro Amara

Written by Certa Team

Behind its comforting bitterness, every #amaro is an entire story on its own. From the vast orange groves at the foot of Mount Etna, @amaro_amara is a 100% pure Sicilian story. ⁣⁣

⁣ 🌋Needless to say, #MountEtna is more than a ‎3000+ m active volcano that overlooks the eastern side of #Sicily.⁣⁣
People here have a special connection to Etna, thinking of it (or better, her? ) as a benevolent mother, watching over the island. ⁣Etna is a #UNESCOworldheritage site, not only noted for its massive size and activity, but for the vast diversity of ecosystems and landscapes. Buildings, piazzas and churches of towns nearby are made largely of black volcanic rock. Orange groves as well as plots of olive trees, terraced hills of vines, almonds and pistachio farms, apiaries and more than a hundred kinds of wild herbs exploit the peculiar composition of the soil, inspiring fervent culinary followings. It’s mixture of mineral-rich decomposed lava, along with lots of limestone: extremely fertile and uniquely mineral. Not enough? Citrus groves have a unique microclimate provided by the brooding volcano of Mount Etna: warm days and cool nights. ⁣⁣
🍊This area, called Piana di Catania (the Plain of Catania), is without a doubt the perfect playground for @amaro_amara. ⁣Edoardo and its family have cultivated “Red Orange of Sicily IGP” (Indicazione Geografica Protetta, or Indication of Geographic Protection) in their orange groves “Contrada San Martino” for generations. They take great care of every single plant, following only sustainable agricultural practices. They also have taken the family project one step further, selecting the best peel of Arancia Rossa and turning it into a sweet, balanced, unforgettable bitterness.

It’s fair to say that it was the Italians who invented the “art of #amaro”, and have been imbibing the stuff since the 1800s, originally for medicinal reasons, and, in modern times, as pre-meal #aperitifs and post-meal #digestifs. One of amaro's most unique traits is that it's a spirit that epitomises a true sense of terroir; these liqueurs’ flavours are defined by ingredients heralded centuries ago which are still rocking in the region today, as well as the botanicals that grow in that specific area. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of amaro produced is not overly bitter—far from it, in fact. The hallmark of a great recipe is bitterness balanced with alcohol content, spirit/wine base, sweetness, flavour concentration and the quality of macerated botanicals. ⁣

@amaro_amara decided to go for the rinds of its red orange’s groves as the main ingredient for Amara.⁣

Strictly without adding chemicals, following the traditional production methods, @amaro_amara hand-picks oranges, peels them one by one with the typical spiral cut, turning slowly around the fruit. The selected orange peels are left to macerate inside dedicated silos with alcohol. Notably, they change the orange peels seven times to extract the best flavour and making sure they can obtain the characteristic orange colour without any additives. In another silo, an infusion of wild herbs from Mount Etna is prepared and left to macerate. Later united and sweetened in a third silos, adding pure water from the Etna spring, they will give life to an artisanal amaro that is able to express the flavour of a place as well as glimpse of its warm traditions.

We may call it “amaro”. In fact, few amari are aggressively bitter: other traits (including sweetness) are in place to round out and balance the complex flavor. Take @amaro_amara , the feminine form of “amaro” in Italian: is entirely infused from Sicilian red IGP oranges’ peels with the simple addition of wild herbs, water from the springs of Etna and alcohol. ⁣

You can enjoy it neat, at sundown or as a midnight digestif. Pour it over ice cubes all summer long. Or in a cocktail. In any case,⁣ this bitterly sweet ritual always offers an excellent excuse to linger over with @matteo_s_ceravolo, Amara brand development manager Asia, for a little chat, treading into the world of @amaro_amara : ⁣

🍊 Can you give us a brief intro of how you’re somehow connected/related to Sicily? ⁣
My grandfather Salvatore was from the Palermo area in Sicily, so even if I have never met him, all my family from my father's side lives there, so I have been going there every two/three years. For that reason I have been able to appreciate all the amazing products and cuisine Sicily has to offer.⁣

🍊 What’s the most distinguishing feature that @amaro_amara possess? ⁣
I think the natural bitterness of the blood oranges and its versatility: given the fact that is half an amaro, half an orange liquor, it can be used for a wide range of cocktails.⁣

🍊 How do you enjoy Amara the most?⁣
On his own, I usually prefer it neat, it helps keeping all the body and bitter notes of Amara. For a cocktail, I like it in a sour or in a sparkling drink, even just as an highball. ⁣

🍊 Amara is coming to HK. Which would be the perfect Amara experience with a cantonese / asian twist?⁣
I think it will be fun to try to develop a few recipes following the cantonese tradition, definitely a duck dish using Amara for the sauce is the first thing that comes to my mind. ⁣

Let’s allow ourselves a little bitterness, folks! 🍊🍊🍊

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