Mixology Monday takes a bitter path

We’re about a week and a half away from the next round of Mixology Monday, this time hosted by the inimitable Chuck Taggart at The Gumbo Pages on Monday, May 18. Chuck has chosen a theme that’s near and dear to many cocktail enthusiasts: Amaro. That’s right, it’s time to break out your bottles of Italian bitters and get mixing (and being the flexible types, Chuck doesn’t mind if you step away from Italy and reach for the Unicum, Amer Picon, Malort or other potable bitter).

Here’s what Chuck says about the event in his announcement post:

The topic for this month is Amaro, which refers to the bitter liqueurs usually drunk as an after-meal digestive, either alone (neat or on the rocks) or in some kind of mixed drink or cocktail. They tend to all share certain characteristics — drinking bitters are generally made of alcohol with any number of herbs, plus sugar and some kind of coloring. The word “amaro” means bitter in Italian, and although the more famous drinking bitters tend to come from Italy our amaro theme this month is most certainly not limited to that country. Amaro, amer, amargo, what have you. Italy, Spain, France, America, Serbia, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland … wherever somebody drinks a bitter liqueur, that’s a source for your drink this month.

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You could use something gentle, like the lovely Amaro Montenegro, or something in-your-face, like the aforementioned Fernet. You could go insane, like a few intrepid Chicago bartenders have done, and actually make cocktails with Jeppson Malört, which is the most mind-bogglingly, unrelentingly bitter liqueur ever. Or you could find something relatively rare, like a pelinkovac from Serbia or Croatia. Just remember we’re talking about a bitter liqueur you drink from a glass, not an aromatic bitters you add by the dash. Oh, and one more thing … while technically Jägermeister is a digestive bitter liqueur and is perfectly legitimate for your post-prandial sipping, it’s been done to death by frat boys nationwide. Unless your Jäger cocktail is destined to be a modern classic, I’d recommend skipping that one (if for no other reason that someone will undoubtedly taunt you for it). Or you could say, “In your face, Taggart!” and do a brilliant Jägermeister cocktail that blows everyone away. The world of bitters is your canvas.

To participate, simply post your drink on or before Monday, May 18. Be sure to let Chuck know you’re participating by placing a link to your post in the comment section of his announcement post, or in the MxMo post he’ll put on his site on May 18. Be sure to link from your post back to Chuck’s site, and to the main Mixology Monday page — and work the MxMo logo into your post, so your readers will know what you’re talking about.

So bitter up, ladies and gents — May was made for amari. Let’s see what ya got…..

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