As we prepare to go into the holiday season, when huge meals, seasonal parties, and (if you’re me) gorging on Halloween candy become the norm for a few months, those who are avoiding alcohol can rejoice that a wide selection of excellent non-alcoholic bitters are now available for after dinner digestives. Traditionally, bitter liqueurs called amari (amaro as the singular) are served as the balancing finale to rich meals, often alongside or in place of dessert. The unique flavor profiles and complexity in each of these zero-proof options hold their own against (and maybe even rival!) their alcoholic cousins. In the tradition of amari, most of which were marketed as “functional beverages” in the 19th and early 20th century, most of these non-alcoholic bitters also claim to have curative effects or to produce feelings of conviviality from adaptogens, nootropics, and vitamin boosts—minus the impairment of alcohol, of course.
Zero Proof Versions of the Classics
In the market for a sweet, baking-spice-forward style like Amaro Lucano or Luxardo Amaro Abano? Sexy AF’s Amar-Oh is a superb blend of sweet cinnamon and star anise, complimented by just enough tart rhubarb and bitter cinchona bark to keep it sophisticated. Amar-Oh has the rich, syrupy mouthfeel of a real amaro, which makes it perfect for sipping straight up or on the rocks, and works so well in so many cocktails, from a simple spritz to a complicated tiki drink that it deserves to be one of your dry bar staples.