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This amaro, which means bitter in Italian, packs a powerful punch. The primary flavor profile is the strong taste of black walnuts, so pass on this amaro if you dislike them. Drinking this reminded me of fall and the book I read every year when summer ends, October or Autumnal Tints by Henry David Thoreau.

This recipe also has a lot of uncommon ingredients. However, if you're interested in making more amaros they can serve as the foundation of future recipes. I found many of them at a local New Age Store, but you can get them at many online retailers, such as Kalustyan's, Herbs of Mexico, Mountain Rose Herbs, and Penn Herb.


-750 ml bottle Everclear 151 proof (Or other neutral grain spirit. Use the same proof, as higher alcohol will shorten the steeping time and lower will lengthen it)

-1 cup pistachios

-1/2 cup black walnuts

-1 tablespoon Gentian root

-1/2 tablespoon Birch bark

-1/2 teaspoon Schisandra berries

-1/2 cup dried apples

-2 cinnamon sticks

-1 teaspoon whole cloves

-1/2 teaspoon juniper berries

-1/2 lemon zest

Simple Syrup to Dilute:

-2 cups water

-2 cups turbinado/demerara simple syrup

-Toast the pistachios and black walnuts at 350 degrees for ten minutes.

-With a mortar and pestle, lightly grind the Gentian root, birch bark, schisandra berries, cinnamon stick, cloves, and juniper berries.

-Add all of the ingredients to a quart sized mason jar and pour in the Everclear.

-Seal and allow it to sit for 4 weeks in a dark place. Shake every few days.

-Strain the contents of the mason jar through three layers cheese cloth.

-If you want to remove some of the finer particulates, pour through a coffee filter. I used a Chemex. This process takes a while so just give it time.

-Pour the amaro into a bowl. Whisk together the water and sugar for the simple syrup in a separate bowl until the sugar dissolves.

-Stir together the amaro and simple syrup. Taste and determine whether to add more 1:1 (water:sugar) simple syrup.

Cocktail Examples:

-GBBO Walnut Whirl


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