Amaro Averna substitutes

The Best Substitutes for Amaro Averna

By Timo Torner / Last updated on May 18, 2022 
Amaro Averna is part of the Amaro category. Those Italian bittersweet liqueurs all have their very own secret recipe and taste.

Amaro is Italian for "bitter", and this describes the taste of Amari pretty well. These Liqueurs are infused with various botanicals like herbs, roots, fruit, and more. Each Amaro has its individual recipe and a distinct taste, making it difficult to find a suitable alternative. Amaro Averna, for example, has a spicy and herbal taste to it with notes of citrus and sugar. But how to find a great substitute for Amaro Averna if you don't have it at home?

If you want to drink Averna on the rocks, the best substitutes are Ramazzotti and Amaro Meletti. Used in cocktails Amaro Montenegro, Amaro Lucano, and Amaro Nonino are the best substitutes for Amaro Averna.

For a better overview, below you can find short descriptions for each of these Amaro liqueurs and how they compare in taste.

What is Amaro Averna?

Amaro Averna is among the most popular brands in its category. And it was invented by Salvatore Averna in 1868, who infused liqueur with various herbs, flowers, and spices. Bottled at 29% ABV, Amaro Averna often is served on the rocks as a digestif. But you can also find it in cocktail recipes like the Black Manhattan.

Bittersweet like most Amari, Amaro Averna also has a distinct spicy taste with dominant notes of cinnamon, cola, chocolate, and bitter orange.

Before the 1990s, the Italian bitter liqueur was known mostly inside Italy. It was one of the most popular Amari there. But outside the country, hardly anyone knew the brand. That changed dramatically when the liqueur suddenly gained traction worldwide during the 90s. Now it's safe to say that on a global level, as well, Amaro Averna is among the most popular of its kind.

nd now, let's find out how you can choose the best substitute for Averna.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Amaro Averna

It isn't going to be a very long list. I want to present only five alternatives that work best as a substitute for Amaro Averna. And depending on what you want to do with it, the recommendation may be different. Therefore, make sure to check the descriptions to find out which one suits you best. So, here are the best Amaro Averna substitutes.

Ramazzotti

Just like Amaro Averna, Ramazzotti is one of the most famous bitter liqueurs from Italy. The Amaro from Milan is bottled at 30% ABV and has a quite sweet taste. The flavor notes include notes of licorice, citrus, berries, and just a bit of herbal bitterness.

Served on the rocks and garnished with an orange wheel, Ramazzotti is a perfect substitute for Amaro Averna. And it also works excellent when used as a cocktail ingredient.

Amaro Meletti

Another great option to substitute Amaro Averna is Amaro Meletti. This Amaro is bottled at 32% and has pretty strong notes of caramelized sugar and only a few hints of fruits. Other flavors include chocolate and saffron.

Like Ramazzotti, Meletti is a good substitute for Averna when you want to serve it as a digestif. And when poured on the rocks, it's pretty close to Averna. In cocktail recipes, though, I would recommend using other brands. My favorite recommendation is the next one on our list, Amaro Montenegro.

Amaro Montenegro

Amaro Montenegro is another world-renowned Amaro. This herbal liqueur is flavored with 40 different botanicals and bottled at 23% ABV. Like all Amari in our list, it's rather sweet, just like Averna. The flavors are fruitier. But when used in cocktails, Amaro Montenegro probably is the best alternative. The comparably low level of alcohol and the sweet taste is awesome in mixed drinks.

Amaro Lucano

Amaro Lucano also is a beautiful replacement for Amaro Averna. This Amaro of 28% ABV is infused with different kinds of wormwood, sage flower, musk yarrow flower, bitter orange peel, gentian, elderflower, angelica, and even aloe. It has a sweet taste with a thick and almost syrupy consistency.

But in contrast to other recommendations on this list, the bitterness is also quite pronounced. It also has strong herbal and spicy notes, making it an excellent substitute for Amaro Averna in cocktails. On the rocks, it's not a perfect substitute. But it works if you're more into bitter and spice than sweetness.

Amaro Nonino

Last one on our list is Amaro Nonino Quintessentia. Amaro Nonino is sweet but lacks the spicy notes of Averna. Other than that, it's a great alternative. The Grappa-based Amaro is bottled at 35% ABV and is barrel-aged for up to 12 months.

The list of ingredients includes bitter orange, galenga, thyme, saffron, and wormwood. And especially the bitter oranges lend the herbal liqueur its taste. Other notes in the complex flavor profile are apricot, caramel, and herbs.

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