one hundred cocktails

drinking with a purpose


The Original Amarosa Cocktail

05 Feb 2011

The good news is that I’m no longer suffering from a gin shortage. With that, it’s time to get things moving again. The third cocktail is the Original Amarosa. It only requires three ingredients: gin, kirsch, and cora bitters. Easy enough, I thought … until I tried to find cora bitters. There are sources recommended by the text; one doesn’t seem to have any, and the other has closed up shop, moved to Mexico (with their stash of Amaro Cora), and set up some sort of combination bar/brothel/inn. I can’t really make this up.

So, I had to improvise. There may be source for Amaro Cora in the US, but I couldn’t find one. Instead I went out on a search for Amaro of any variety, and had a rather difficult time of that as well. I finally managed to track some down at the Westport International Wine Shop, only to later that week discover it at Stew Leonard’s as well. Averna may well not be the correct spirit for the job, but it’s about as close as I’ve been able to get.

Ingredients for the Amarosa cocktail.

Whether the spirit is correct or not, this trio of alcohols makes for a rather special cocktail, easily my favorite thus far. I guess that’s not saying much when I’ve only prepared three cocktails, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I like the individual ingredients, but they manage to come together as something special when mixed and chilled.

A finished Amarosa.

The initial sip is slightly sweet with notes of chocolate, caramel, licorice, coffee, toasted nuts, and berry. After it washes from your tongue, there’s a sudden wave of bitterness and cherry, but it’s not an overpowering bitterness – the balance is spot on.

The finish, which lingers, is of oak leather, sawdust, pepper, and citrus (whether that is due to the twist of the ingredients, I’ve yet to verify scientifically).

This is a cocktail worth trying, and worth serving to your guests, or for savoring by yourself in your favorite chair.

Another finished Amarosa