The history behind many liqueurs sounds like something out of a Hollywood script, filled with alchemists and monks tinkering with herbs, roots and flowers in order to make distilled elixirs – and when you taste the La Dura Vita cocktail, which includes Amaro Averna, it’s easy to imagine alchemy taking place.
Amari is a family of bitter Italian liqueurs that are often drunk as digestifs in Italy, where there are numerous brands available. In other countries they’re used more in cocktails such as the La Dura Vita, although they’re easy to drink on their own.
The La Dura Vita is a sophisticated cocktail that’s similar to a negroni in that it has Campari and gin but it uses Amaro Averna instead of sweet vermouth. This makes the drink darker in colour and also a little stronger and more bitter – which works well with the Campari’s flavour.
“I’ve always liked (the) Negroni and I found that using Amaro gave the drink a different, more complex character without losing any of its appeal,” says David Ramos Hernandez, who manages Low 302 and has put the La Dura Vita on its cocktail menu.
“Every single negroni fan that has tried this drink has loved it and some have even told me they prefer it to the negroni itself.”
- 30ml (one shot) Campari
- 15ml Amaro Averna
- 45ml gin
As with a negroni, this drink ought to be built over ice in an old-fashioned glass and stirred (some bartenders insist that the stirring should be slow and gentle). A lemon or orange peel should be rubbed against the rim of the glass and then twisted above the drink so that some of its oils drop into the drink. Voila!