Palettes are getting more curious and complex. For a few years I’ve seen how bitters, ranging from classic Italian amaros to monastic French liqueurs, have been popping up more and more on cocktail menus in the U.S. But it seems that this category (once considered to be folk remedies throughout Europe) has officially gotten momentum with the opening of “Amor y Amargo” in NYC. A collaboration between Ravi DeRossi (Cienfuegos) and the Brooklyn-based bitters company Bittermens are offering an experience to bitters in the way of flights, cocktails, house made vermouth’s on tap, tasting rooms and cocktail classes.
Here is an article from Time Out NY by Chris Schonberger, photography by Paul Wagtouicz
Few cities in the world can reward the curious drinker as richly as ours. Sure, there’s a place to get mindlessly shitfaced on every street corner. But there are also endless opportunities to mix edification and inebriation in a way that never quite worked out in college. Amor y Amargo—a tiny and colorful nook conceived by Ravi DeRossi (Death & Company, Cienfuegos) and Bittermens, a small-batch bitters producer based in Red Hook—is the latest barroom to blaze the trail toward enlightened boozing. The niche focus here is amari and other bitters, and the drinking is not confined to what you order: Knowledgeable bartenders are quick to pony up minipours as they demonstrate the differences between, for example, bracing Campari and its mellower cousin, Zucca; patrons extend the backs of their hands to receive droplets of oddball bitters laced with habanero or orange-cream citrate; and samples of house-made sweet vermouth are poured straight from a tap. Even for noobs, exploring this complex family of spirits is a fun exercise—the flavors and smells they offer are evocative and wildly diverse, firing up long-forgotten memories (Grandma’s rhubarb pie, that soda you drank once at a Jewish deli) even as they gently numb the senses.
DRINK THIS: Dive right into the curriculum with a tasting flight (most $12 for three pours), where you can sip bitters straight, just as the Italians and French have done for centuries. You might compare varieties of trendy fernet…to continue reading click here