In an encyclopedic new book, the Italian amari expert Matteo Zed covers the spirit, the bitter drink as old as monasteries and made new in Brooklyn. Amari are sipped as digestivos, aperitivos and in cocktails. He tells their history, describes the 50 botanicals often used when making them, gives an idea of their styles and sorts them into categories. There’s an amaro renaissance going on worldwide and he helps it along, with his favorite ways to enjoy the spirit. There are descriptions of more than 200 Italian brands, a fascinating region-by-region and bottle-by-bottle survey, followed by a handful of amari from other countries. The book supplies recipes for cocktails using amari and a few dishes made with them, all beautifully photographed.
“The Big Book of Amaro” by Matteo Zed (Countryman Press, $28).