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I don't think you will find one base recipe. Amaro's are an old and regionally diverse style of liqueur. Even the base alcohol can vary significantly, from grape eau de vie to grain alcohol to even sugar beet distillate. The bittering agent is as varied as the range of territory in which it is made.

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I would start by extracting tinctures of each of the herbs/spices/botanicals that you are interested in using and building a 'library' of single flavors.

Once you have that completed, you can just run blending tests of whatever combinations that you want, in order to see if you can formulate something that pleases you.

Once you have your blend ratios down, you can start experimenting with co-macerating all the ingredients together.

A good place to start, is start evaluating tinctures of possible main bittering agents to determine if you want to use Gentain, quassia, etc... and then layer other flavors on top of your bittering ingredient.

Caramel color and sugar are your friend when making amaro as well.

Good luck!

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On 12/7/2017 at 12:51 AM, whiskeytango said:

So are most amaro's macerated then re distilled like you would a gin?  

 

Most are liqueurs, so they are not redistilled, they are extracts in spirit with sugar and other flavor and coloring added.

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so you think most are not using real botanicals just extracts?  When i have tested mine with real botanicals i get a really funky yellow opaque colored spirit.   

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@whiskeytango  On a large scale (Jager, Fernet Branca, Campari, etc) most are a combination of maceration and extracts in a sourced neutral spirit, followed by filtration, resting in very large barrels (not aging), sweetening and coloring for consistency.  Many european herbal liqueurs run the entire color spectrum from light yellow to amber to dark purple.  The variance in process and flavor is part of the fun.  

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