5 Amaro-Based Cocktails That Aren’t an Aperol Spritz

About a week before The Great Aperol Spritz Controversy of 2019, I found myself at a local bar with some friends. It was early, we were free to pass the afternoon as we pleased, and one of us ordered an Aperol spritz. The bartender scrunched up her face, very annoyed. It was as if my friend had said: “Can I have a Papa-Roll Guh-vitz?” This was a high-volume bar, with a phalanx of bitters standing at attention behind the bar. And yet, requesting an Aperol spritz was clearly not okay. “Uh, I’ll have an Aperol and soda,” my girl mumbled. And everyone moved on.

But now I have that Baader-Meinhof thing happening, where it feels like Aperol spritz is everywhere. And judging by my instagram feed, it is everywhere.

So I figured we might as well round up some of the best amaro-based cocktails on the internet.

Here they are.

    1. Eeyore’s Requiem, a Fernet Negroni
      Toby Malone, The Violet Hour
      The Negroni, a cocktail of equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, couldn’t be easier to make. Should you present one to a Negroni virgin, however, they will conclude that you are some kind of wizard. But those of us who have consumed Negronis in great volume may hanker for something a little more demandingly vegetal from time to time. Enter this inspired recipe—created by Malone and  published in Imbibe—featuring Fernet Branca and Cynar.
    2. Minor Threat
      Evan Zimmerman, Laurelhurst Market
      Sign of a good cocktail recipe: It will include a modification if you use a gin with a different botanical profile than the one called for. Published in Kate Simon’s Absinthe Cocktails, this recipes combines our old friend Aperol with Hendrick’s Gin, lemon juice, absinthe, egg whites, and rose water.
    3. Pink Gin
      Classic recipe
      Keep it simple with a classic combination of 2 ounces of gin (“preferably Plymouth,” per Brad Thomas Parsons in Bitters) and four to six dashes of Angostura bitters. You just combine them over ice, stir, and get sipping.
    4. Paper Plane Cocktail
      Zach Pollack, Alimento
      What’s the first step in cooking and cocktailing? Mise en place. Here, the first step of your mise is to wake up  that Spotify app and cue M.I.A. You’ll be bopping along in no time, particulary with the aid of this boozy concoction of Amaro Nonino (my favorite), Aperol (it’s back!), bourbon (or rye nbd), and fresh lemon juice.
    5. Smoking Jacket
      Chris Amirault, Otium
      I live with a person who fell in love with mezcal during a recent trip to Mexico City. To the point where he regulary thinks you said “mezcal” when you said words that don’t sound anything like mezcal—words like “cereal,” or “Please take out the recycling.” Someday soon I am gonna whip him up one of these, with Averna amaro, mezcal, vanilla syrup, Angostura, and—what’s this?—tonka bean cream. Don’t worry, Punch will teach you how to make that, too.



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