best substitutes for Amaro Nonino

The Best Substitutes for Amaro Nonino

By Timo Torner / Last updated on April 5, 2022 
Amaro Nonino is a representative of the bittersweet Amaro liqueurs. It has a distinct flavor with a hint of oranges, honey, and vanilla. But how do you substitute it when you don't have it available?

Sometimes it may be hard to find Amaro Nonino in stores. And if you do, it's usually one of the pricier Amaros. But when you want to mix, for instance, a Paper Plane, you'll need it -or a proper replacement. Luckily, there are some great substitutes for Amaro Nonino.

If you want to use it in a cocktail, the best substitute is Amaro Averna or Amaro Tosolini. For drinking straight, the best alternatives to Amaro Nonino are Amaro Montenegro or Ramazotti. If you can't get your hands on one of these substitutes, you could also opt for Cynar, Gammel Dansk, Chartreuse, or even Jägermeister.

To give you a better overview of the different substitutes available for Amaro Nonino, here's a more detailed look at the best options to replace this herbal liqueur.

What is Amaro Nonino?

Amaro Nonino belongs to the Amaro category. Amari, the plural of Amaro, are herbal liqueurs often brewed after a secret recipe. And also, the formula of Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is closely guarded. The liqueur that contains 35% ABV is based on Grappa and ages in barrels for up to 12 months.

The list of ingredients includes bitter orange, thyme, cinchono, galenga, saffron, and wormwood. But the exact composition of this delicious Amaro is unknown. Yet, Amaro Nonino is famous for its bitter and sweet taste and complex flavor profile with notes of bitter orange, caramel, apricot, and herbs.

Likely, you stumbled upon Amaro Nonino because of the Paper Plane cocktail. But it's also delicious when served on ice, together with a slice of orange.

Yet the high price point and limited availability of this Amaro make many look for substitutes. And as there are quite a few options to choose from, here's our list of the best replacements.

The 7 Best Substitutes for Amaro Nonino Quintessentia

Now that you know more about the herbal liqueur, its ABV, and the different flavors, it's time to look at the liqueurs that can replace it. Depending on the purpose, you might opt for different products. So here are the best Amaro Nonino substitutes.

Amaro Averna

Amaro Averna is one of the most obvious substitutes for Amaro Nonino. The flavor profile is similar, with lots of herbal notes and sweetness from caramel, citrus, and honey. Also, when it comes to the ABV, Averna is quite close. At 29% ABV, it's just 6 percent shy of Amaro Nonino's 35%. And what might be a remarkable difference for spirits isn't that big of a deal with herbal liqueur.

The thick consistency makes for a great mouthfeel. That, combined with the orangey aromas and flavors of Amaro Averna, makes it an excellent replacement for a Paper Plane cocktail. But it is also a great substitute when served on ice as a digestif.

Amaro Montenegro

Another great way to substitute Amaro Nonino is by using Amaro Montenegro. Flavored with 40 different herbs and botanicals, Amaro Montenegro is bottled at 23% ABV. Tastewise it's rather on the sweet side of Amaros. Yet, that's exactly why it's such a great alternative to Nonino Amaro.

Due to its low level of alcohol and sweet and fruity flavor, Amaro Montenegro is great to sip. But the Amaro is also commonly used as an ingredient in cocktails. And if you're okay with a less orange-forward flavor, Amaro Montenegro is an excellent substitute for Amaro Nonino.

Amaro Tosolini

Amaro Tosolini Liquore d'Erbe is another fantastic Amaro that can be used as a substitute. The Mediterranean herbal liqueur is flavored with 15 different ingredients, the most prominent being bitter orange, gentian, and wormwood. Just like Amaro Nonino, Tosolini is barrel-aged to develop a richer flavor profile.

The full-bodied Amaro gets bottled at 30% ABV. It has a bittersweet taste with intense citrus flavors balanced with warm and spicy notes. With that many similarities, it doesn't come as a surprise that Amaro Tosolini is also hard to get. If you find it, though, it's a perfect alternative to Amaro Nonino.

Ramazzotti

Ramazzotti is one of the most famous bitter aperitifs from Italy. The liqueur is bottled at 30% ABV and carries notes of licorice, berries, citrus, and a touch of herbal bitterness. Ramazzotti is a great substitute when served on the rocks with a slice of orange. But surprisingly, it's also a pretty decent replacement for Nonino Amaro in cocktails.

Used in our Mezcal Sour recipe, Ramazzotti does an excellent job of adding complexity and depth of flavor. The taste is very similar to the same recipe made with Nonino. So, if you're looking for an Amaro Nonino substitute and can't find anything else than Ramazzotti, go for it.

Cynar

Cynar is one of the most unique Amaro liqueurs. It has a secret recipe like many others, and it also has the characteristic bittersweet taste, but there's something else - Artichoke. One of the 13 ingredients to flavor this liqueur is artichokes. And it's not only the signature ingredient and part of the Cynar logo. The artichoke also has an interesting side effect.

Exposing your tongue to artichoke will make everything else you consume directly afterward taste sweet. The reason is the salt contained in artichoke, namely chlorogenic acid and cynarin. The salts modify your palate and make things taste more sugary than they are. If you don't believe me, read more on this topic here.

But back to our topic. Cynar is also one of the best substitutes for Amaro Nonino. -Especially if you're looking for something with a unique taste.

Meletti Amaro

The taste of Amaro Meletti is a bit different than the ones mentioned before. It has way fewer citrus and orange flavors. Instead, it has more pronounced caramel notes. But saying that, you can still taste some fruity notes in this Amaro.

This Amaro is bottled at 32% and works particularly well as a replacement for Nonino when served on the rocks. Its rich taste of caramelized sugar, chocolate, and saffron makes for an excellent digestif.

Jägermeister

Mentioning Jägermeister here might sound strange. But technically, the German herbal liqueur is very closely related to Amari. The herbal liqueur is brewed of 56 herbs and spices and bottled at 35% ABV. - The same proof as Amaro Nonino.

The liqueur has thick and syrup-like consistency with a complex and herbal flavor profile. And as odd as it may sound, using Jägermeister as a sub for Amaro Nonino works excellent. Especially when you use it to create cocktails, the taste of Jägermeister will add an extra amount of flavor depth.

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