Jump to content


Photo

Amari, Digestives, and Bitters


  • Please log in to reply
86 replies to this topic

#1 jsh

jsh

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 167 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 07:54 PM

I love Fernet Branca, so as what was supposed to be a joke gift, I got some Underberg from my boyfriend when he returned from a trip to Germany. Delicious (with an anise component)! I've had Ramazzotti too (orange-y), but am looking forward to trying some of the many more varieties now available at various restaurants in NYC before buying some other varieties myself. What other amari or digistives do people like? Of course, such a difficult task as learning about amari has the added entertainment benefit that the bf will insist on trying them every time, just as he insists on always trying my Campari in whatever form I'm drinking it, and yet never seems to develop a taste for bitter drinks. Grimaces galore! Strange, since he likes bitter foods much more than I do.
"'Conquer your passions, boys, and don't be eager after vittles.' As he uttered this moral precept, Mr. Squeers took a large bite out of the cold beef." - Dickens Nicholas Nickleby

#2 g.johnson

g.johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,881 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:03 PM

Babbo has an amari tasting that's worth trying. There's a nut one (wal? hazel?) made, IIRC, by Bastianich, that's very good.
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#3 Vanessa

Vanessa

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,998 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:05 PM

Can Fernet Branca go off? I have a ridiculously large bottle someone brought me some years ago. I don't mind the very occasional cocktail with FB as an ingredient; however, when I used recently it after a long hiatus the resulting drink had to go down the sink, as did another I tried in case the problem was the drink rather than the FB. It has acquired an overwhelming bitter taste and also gone cloudy in the bottle ;)

v
...it actually comes down to what thrills you - Hugh Johnson

authenticity is a fog that recedes just when you think you may be getting near it - R Schonfeld

The most political act we do on a daily basis is to eat - Prof J Pretty

this city without boundaries we all share - zigzackly


#4 jsh

jsh

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 167 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:05 PM

Do you know if I could do just the tasting at the bar at Babbo? That sounds perfect. It was actually a comment in a thread about an amaro at Otto (I think) that led me to start the topic.
"'Conquer your passions, boys, and don't be eager after vittles.' As he uttered this moral precept, Mr. Squeers took a large bite out of the cold beef." - Dickens Nicholas Nickleby

#5 g.johnson

g.johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,881 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:08 PM

Can Fernet Branca go off?

Probably, but how could you tell?
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#6 Vanessa

Vanessa

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,998 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:11 PM

Can Fernet Branca go off?

Probably, but how could you tell?

I know what you mean and that's why I'm having difficulty judging. But while before it was an acquired taste but with certain levels of flavour/aroma, now it is all-round blech. And that cloudiness I mentioned. What mystifies me is how such a substance could possibly go off.

v
...it actually comes down to what thrills you - Hugh Johnson

authenticity is a fog that recedes just when you think you may be getting near it - R Schonfeld

The most political act we do on a daily basis is to eat - Prof J Pretty

this city without boundaries we all share - zigzackly


#7 g.johnson

g.johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,881 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:11 PM

Do you know if I could do just the tasting at the bar at Babbo? That sounds perfect. It was actually a comment in a thread about an amaro at Otto (I think) that led me to start the topic.

I don't think they'd let you drink at the bar without ordering food as they use it for walk ins. On the other hand, a plate of pasta followed by the amari tasting sounds like a plan.
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#8 g.johnson

g.johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,881 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:16 PM

Can Fernet Branca go off?

Probably, but how could you tell?

I know what you mean and that's why I'm having difficulty judging. But while before it was an acquired taste but with certain levels of flavour/aroma, now it is all-round blech. And that cloudiness I mentioned. What mystifies me is how such a substance could possibly go off.

v

'Off' might be the wrong word as it's much higher in alcohol (42%) than I'd thought so nothing evil will grow in it. But I'm guessing that you could loose a lot of the aromatics to evapouration and/or oxidation.
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#9 Wilfrid1

Wilfrid1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 42,108 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:16 PM

A crowd of MFers ordered various amari at Otto last night. I sniffed a couple of similar looking dark ones, and found them pretty hard to distinguish on the nose. I drank something with a name like nonino. It was pleasant, but I don't think it will become a habit.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#10 omnivorette

omnivorette

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 25,546 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:21 PM

I love 'em. I had a Ramazzotti last night, also bought a bottle of it not long ago up on Arthur Ave. I like the Nardini and the Nonino too.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#11 wingding

wingding

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,068 posts

Posted 06 April 2005 - 09:25 PM

Lupa has a good amaro collection,some brought back from travels to Italy,many of which they can't officially sell,but they might give you some tastes.Some good some not.My absolute favorite...only sold at Mt. Carmel Wines,is Braulio,from the Valtellina region of Lombardia.Amari are definitely an acquired taste...I like 'em.
Stung by Nettles

#12 Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 8,958 posts

Posted 14 April 2005 - 04:22 PM

At Otto the Ramazzotti costs $12 per glass. The Nonino costs $9. At retail the Ramazzotti costs $16 per bottle. The Nonino costs $36. What gives?

#13 Abbylovi

Abbylovi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,523 posts

Posted 14 April 2005 - 05:48 PM

AND the Nonino bottle is a lot prettier! Do you think that someone is holding a grudge?
It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.

#14 Daisy

Daisy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 15,666 posts

Posted 14 April 2005 - 05:56 PM

That Nonino bottle is gorgeous. Just a thought, but perhaps Otto has a relationship with the wholesaler that gets them the Nonino at a rock bottom price?
Sardines aren't for sissies.---Frank Bruni
------------------------------------------------------------
The mistake one makes is to react to what people post rather than to what they mean.---Dr. Johnson
-------------------------------------------------------------
I want to be the girl with the most cake.

#15 omnivorette

omnivorette

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 25,546 posts

Posted 14 April 2005 - 06:09 PM

By law, the wholesaler MUST sell it at the identical price to a restaurant and a liquor store. Discounts for quantity are permitted, but prices in NY must be posted with the SLA, including discount structure. It's possible that Otto (or the empire of which it is a part) buys a lot more amaro than Mt Carmel, and therefore they do get a discount. How much, well it's easy to find out. Just call the distributor and pretent you're a wholesale customer and ask what the price is and where/how much the price breaks for quantity. Or ask a liquor retailer you're friendly with to tell you what the wholesale price is.

By the way, I sent my cousin (by phone) to Mt Carmel and to Vino to buy amari and vini santi (he needed to buy a bunch of gifts for people with an Italian theme), and he said that Vino was a bit cheaper, not to mention easier to deal with.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid