Amaro Nonino: The Ultimate Guide For You!


We’ll never forget the first time we ever tried amaro. Oh boy, that was an eye-opener to the world of liqueur! Who knew how many liqueurs there were to explore?

Under this bitter liqueur comes different Amari, like Amaro Nonino. But what is Amaro Nonino, exactly?

This liqueur is far more than a simple bitter drink to serve at parties or with meals. Let’s delve deeper into Amaro Nonino with our complete guide!

What is Amaro?

Before getting into Amaro Nonino, it’s essential to talk about what Amaro is in the first place (Amaro means “little bitter” in Italian).

This is an Italian herbal bittersweet liqueur served as a digestif, meaning you serve it after meals. Amaro is also a crucial ingredient in some of the best cocktails worldwide.

The liqueur begins with an alcohol base ranging from various spirits. However, it’s usually wine-based. Afterward, manufacturers will infuse the alcohol base with a blend of herbs, spices, and roots, giving Amaro its unique bittersweet flavor.

Bitters vs. Amari

The basic answer: The first one enhances a cocktail’s flavor while we enjoy the second one for drinking.

You would serve amaro in 1-2 ounce glasses as an aperitif or digestif, once known to help with appetite and digestion. As for bitters, we see them as a remedy for stomach issues when mixed with soda.

These two start as the same thing, containing flavorful components like herbs, roots, flowers, and leaves! Manufacturers chop the ingredients finely and then macerate them in methanol.

Sweet Vermouth vs. Amaro

image of Sweet Vermouth vs. Amaro

Amaro and vermouth share similarities, but they are not the same. You can enjoy these two before dinner as an aperitif. However, vermouth is different as it needs to contain a wine component while amaro does not.

You can use these two liqueurs as substitutes for one another because of their similar bitterness.

What is Amaro Nonino?

image of What is Amaro Nonino?

Amaro Nonino Quintessential is a type of grappa-based amaro with balanced flavors and a fantastic herbal and citrusy aroma.

For at least five years, it’s aged in barriques and small sherry casks of Nevers, Limousin.

It’s mellow and smooth, and because of that, we love to drink Amaro Nonino on its own! You can also sense flavor notes of citrus, caramel, and gentian.

This beverage comes from Friuli, located in the North East of Italy. Since 1933, it’s been part of the award-winning liqueurs. The world regards the family-run company of Amaro Nonino as the industry leader in grappa production and innovation.

It all began in 1992 when a distiller named Antonio Nonino created Amaro Nonino in 1992.

But the company isn’t only known for their Amaro Nonino. They also have a wide selection of distilled products worth trying.

Compared to other Italian Amari the company distributes, it’s more difficult finding Amaro Nonino. Moreover, it’s pricier than the rest, such as Aperol, Averna, Campari, and Cynar.

What Does Amaro Nonino Taste Like?

We love the balance of bitter and sweet in Amaro Nonino. As you continue to drink the liqueur, you’ll notice flavor notes of allspice, cocoa, honey, orange, mango, licorice, pepper, and vanilla.

What a unique blend, right? It’s worth trying because you’ll be surprised how the sweetness, bitterness, and slight spiciness work hand in hand.

Amaro Nonino does not taste as sweet as other Amari, but it’s still easy to consume. It isn’t as sweet or bitter, with a lighter texture than other Amari.

Think of it as brown Amari like Cynar and Amaro Meletti but with unique characteristics thanks to grappa.

Amaro Nonino ABV

For an amaro, the Amaro Nonino contains high alcohol content. It has a 35% ABV, compared to Aperol with 11% ABV and Campari with 24% ABV. Fernet-Branca contains the highest ABV of 40-45%, similar to vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey!

Using an Amaro Nonino Substitute

If you need substitutes, you can use another dark, herbal, and sweet amaro in its place. Try the Italian amari Cynar, Amaro Averna, Meletti, or Tosolin. Funnily enough, Jagermeister, German alcohol, shares a similar flavor to the Amaro Nonino, so it can work as an alternative.

How Much Is a Bottle?

As mentioned, Amaro Nonino comes with a high price tag. One 750ml bottle costs around $50! While it will set you back a bit, it’s worth every penny for the deliciousness and overall experience. You’ll feel like you’re in Italy, feeling fancy! (*)

How Do You Serve Amaro Nonino?

We recommend serving Amaro Nonino on the rocks as an aperitif or digestif. You can also include it in popular drinks like the Paper Plane.

Better yet, enjoy it as it is, chilled and neat with its exquisiteness and delicate characteristics! While we aren’t experts, it’s worth trying the Amaro Nonino on its own, but you can also experiment with cocktail recipes and mixers.

Try It With Coffee or Lemon Juice!

For instance, we tried it in coffee, which we call a Caffe correto. It’s a shot of espresso with just a few drops of Amaro Nonino.

You can also mix Amaro Nonino with a bit of lemon juice or add a lemon peel for garnish when you drink it neat.

In the next section, we’ll get into the refreshing cocktails you can make with Amaro Nonino!

Cooking with Amaro Nonino

We don’t usually cook with Amaro Nonino, but you can use it for desserts with other Italian Amari. Add a bit of the alcoholic beverage to your baked goods, like the Amaro Ricotta cheesecake, or infuse it in your favorite ice cream flavor.

You can try searching for recipes using Amaro Nonino and work your way from there. While we usually recommend drinking it on its own or in a cocktail, it’s worth a shot in the kitchen. Now, let’s get into what we actually can do with this favored beverage – through our favorite cocktails!

Top 6+ Cocktails Featuring Amaro Nonino You Might Not Know


You can find many cocktails featuring the nonino amaro! Try making or ordering any of these cocktails (prepare your cocktail shaker, folks!):

1. The Paper Plane Cocktail:

To make the infamous Paper Plane, you’ll need an ounce each of bourbon whiskey, Aperol, amaro nonino, and fresh lemon juice. Don’t forget the lemon peel for garnish and citrus aroma in your drink!

2. Amaro Nonino Spritz:

A bubblier way to enjoy the liqueur without much of the bitter and a bit more of the citrus. If the cocktail sounds familiar, that’s because the Aperol Spritz inspires it.

3. Black Manhattan

Black Manhattan uses sweet vermouth, but you can swap it out for Amaro Nonino for cocoa, vanilla, and licorice notes. Black Manhattan recipes contain bourbon or rye whiskey.

4. Negroni

Negroni, but make the drink with Amaro Nonino, giving it an intriguing and modern classic spin to the usual cocktail. The drink contains gin and sweet vermouth for the bitter yet balanced amaro flavor.

5. The Fly-By-Knight

Another interesting cocktail that contains Amaro Nonino, bourbon, red wine, Aperol, lemon juice, and egg white!

6. The Busted Pipe

Think of it as a combination of the Old Fashioned and Paper Plane. It’s great for those who love bourbon! You can also find other cocktail recipes like the Amaro Paisano, Italian American Cocktail, or the Divine Lorraine, containing bourbon, among other ingredients.

If you don’t want to follow recipes, you can use mixers like soda water, creating a makeshift spritzer.

Do you know? 

You can also mix it with other beverages and flavorings like cacao, coffee cream, sparkling wine, orange juice, or Cola. 

Mix it with spirits like vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila, or even bourbon, as they make great blending agents.

Wrapping It Up

Amaro Nonino is a lovely Italian herbal liqueur with the perfect balance of bitter and sweet flavors. Thanks to the botanicals, it also embodies notes like caramel, cocoa, allspice, licorice, and citrus.

All in all, we recommend trying the Amaro Nonino on its own, on the rocks, or in your favorite cocktail recipes! Enjoy the myriad of flavor notes from licorice to pepper with this enjoyable alcoholic beverage. Moreover, check out the other recipes and information we offer on your other favorite alcohols and food here at Nomspedia!

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