Brovo Spirits, Amaro #01
Local ingredient: rhubarb
This Seattle-area producer’s foray into amaro began as a botched attempt at rhubarb liqueur, which was salvaged with an infusion of warming spices like clove and cardamom. At its base is the underlying sweetness of rhubarb sourced from nearby Sumner, Washington—known as the “Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World” ever since German immigrants began growing the vegetable there in the early 20th century.
St. George Spirits, Bruto Americano
Local ingredient: California buckthorn bark
This Bay Area ode to Campari dials up the citrus with California-grown Seville oranges, which contrast notes of balsam fir, sandalwood, and cascara sagrada (“sacred bark”) harvested from the California buckthorn. Native Americans were the first to use bark from this evergreen shrub, commonly found west of the Sierra Nevadas, as a natural digestive.
Don Ciccio & Figli, Cerasum Aperitivo
Local ingredient: cherry blossoms
Italian expat Francesco Amodeo is descended from a long line of amaro makers, and his D.C. distillery produces small-batch spirits inspired by the Amalfi Coast. For his Cerasum Aperitivo, a 1906 family recipe gets a local twist from sakura cherry blossom petals, which bloom across the Tidal Basin every spring, and imbue the typically bitter cherry spirit with a softer floral note.
Greenbar Distillery, Grand Poppy Amaro
Local ingredient: California poppy
Downtown L.A.’s Greenbar Distillery pays homage to the California poppy—the Golden State’s official flower since 1903—in this lower-proof amaro, whose proprietary recipe also features Southern California–farmed citrus, as well as pink peppercorn, bay leaf, and dandelion. Poured over ice, it takes on the hue of its namesake ingredient, also known as the copa de oro, or “cup of gold.”
Charleston, South Carolina
High Wire Distilling Company, Southern Amaro Liqueur
Local ingredient: yaupon
Out of a warehouse on Charleston’s King Street, High Wire Distilling has developed an amaro made with South Carolina–sourced ingredients, including Charleston black tea, wild mint, Dancy tangerine, and yaupon, a species of holly that’s the only indigenous caffeinated plant in North America (it gained popularity during Civil War–era shortages of coffee and tea).