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The newly opened RPM Italian plays up amaro big time.
The newly opened RPM Italian plays up amaro big time.
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A Dozen New Amaro Cocktails to Try

For some cocktail drinkers, bitter is better

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The newly opened RPM Italian plays up amaro big time.
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Among the wave of bitter drinks that have tickled bartenders' fancy in recent years, the Italian herbal liqueur's popularity has exploded, as have the number of establishments that offer amaro either as a solo digestif or in a cocktail. Thank D.C.'s Distillery Don Ciccio & Figli in part for the growing local following, which started making amaro stateside a couple years ago.

The new RPM Italian from reality stars Bill and Giuliana Rancic incorporates a six-seat amaro bar where guests can get schooled on the virtues of Amaro Montenegro versus Fernet Branca. It carries more than 13 types of Amaro. Many restaurants now carry a wider selection of amari, ranging from small, artisanal varieties to major brands. (And up in Baltimore there's Sicilian restaurant Cosima with a dozen amari to try straight up.)

Here, Eater rounds up a selection of some of the newer amaro cocktails offered at D.C. area restaurants, from high-end spots like RPM to more unlikely places like casual new burger joint Tasty Burger.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Oval Room

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800 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 463-8700
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This month The Oval Room added a twist on the classic Brooklyn cocktail with dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, Journeyman rye whiskey, and Montenegro Amaro.

2. Alta Strada

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465 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 629-4662
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Michael Schlow’s new Mt. Vernon Triangle joint added a classic Italian cocktail this month. The Mezzo e Mezzo ($11) blends a smoked rhubarb amaro with rhubarb bitters and Don Ciccio & Figli’s Cinque 5 aperitif. The concoction's then topped with soda and an orange slice.

3. STK DC

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1250 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 296-1880
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Next month, the Dupont Circle cocktail bar and steakhouse will offer The Ladies Man cocktail ($15), made with Jameson Black Barrel, Amaro Montenegro, cinnamon honey syrup, and lemon. It will stick around on the menu through the end of September.

4. Roofers Union

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2446 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 232-7663
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The Adams Morgan restaurant and bar’s summer cocktail lineup includes the Coo-Coo for Cucumber ($12), which blends Avua cachaça, Green Chartreuse, Cynar, Fernet-Branca, Salers aperitif, cucumber juice, and lemon. It will stay on the menu through the fall.

5. Masseria

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1340 4th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 608-5959
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Masseria’s I’ve Often Thought of Becoming a Golf Club ($14) was added to the cocktail menu in the spring, blending rye whisky, mint-infused water, and a minty amaro.

6. All Purpose

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1250 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 849-6174
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All-Purpose offers a twist on the classic Manhattan with a Black Manhattan ($11) that uses amaro instead of sweet vermouth, resulting in a more bitter, herbaceous cocktail.

7. Urbana

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2121 P St NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 956-6650
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The Kimpton Hotel spot added the Dog Days Sour ($12) last month, featuring Bulldog Gin, Amaro Nonino, ginger liqueur, Salers Gentiane Liqueur, lemon, and basil. It will remain on the menu till the end of September.

8. Centrolina

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974 Palmer Alley NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 898-2426
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The Italian restaurant and market introduced the Rimini ($12) in the spring, made with two types of amari, pineapple, and Avua Cachaca.

9. Don Ciccio & Figli

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6031 Kansas Ave
Washington, D.C.
Though locals know Don Ciccio for its tastings of artisanal Italian liqueurs, the distillery will sell bottled cocktails starting Sept. 17. Prices will range from $20-$42 for 200ml and 350 ml bottles. Amaro offerings will include the Vecchia Passione with three types of amari, two aperitifs, and two bitters and the Sorrentino, with Luna Amara bitter, Limoncello, vermouth, and lime juice.

10. Tasty Burger

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2108 8th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 768-9292
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The new Shaw burger joint offers "adult" milkshakes, including a vanilla shake, The Monk ($8.75), made with Amaro Meletti and Chartreuse.

11. Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro

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1940 11th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 332-9463
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Vinoteca’s La Volpe cocktail ($12) mixes Amaro Montenegro, Copper Fox Rye, vermouth, and Angostura bitters.

12. RPM Italian

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601 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 204-4480
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RPM Italian offers a take on the classic Negroni, adding Don Ciccio & Figli Amaro delle Sirene to the mix. The RPM Negroni runs $15.

1. The Oval Room

800 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20006
This month The Oval Room added a twist on the classic Brooklyn cocktail with dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, Journeyman rye whiskey, and Montenegro Amaro.
800 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

2. Alta Strada

465 K St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Michael Schlow’s new Mt. Vernon Triangle joint added a classic Italian cocktail this month. The Mezzo e Mezzo ($11) blends a smoked rhubarb amaro with rhubarb bitters and Don Ciccio & Figli’s Cinque 5 aperitif. The concoction's then topped with soda and an orange slice.
465 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

3. STK DC

1250 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
Next month, the Dupont Circle cocktail bar and steakhouse will offer The Ladies Man cocktail ($15), made with Jameson Black Barrel, Amaro Montenegro, cinnamon honey syrup, and lemon. It will stick around on the menu through the end of September.
1250 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

4. Roofers Union

2446 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
The Adams Morgan restaurant and bar’s summer cocktail lineup includes the Coo-Coo for Cucumber ($12), which blends Avua cachaça, Green Chartreuse, Cynar, Fernet-Branca, Salers aperitif, cucumber juice, and lemon. It will stay on the menu through the fall.
2446 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

5. Masseria

1340 4th St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Masseria’s I’ve Often Thought of Becoming a Golf Club ($14) was added to the cocktail menu in the spring, blending rye whisky, mint-infused water, and a minty amaro.
1340 4th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

6. All Purpose

1250 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
All-Purpose offers a twist on the classic Manhattan with a Black Manhattan ($11) that uses amaro instead of sweet vermouth, resulting in a more bitter, herbaceous cocktail.
1250 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

7. Urbana

2121 P St NW, Washington, D.C. 20037
The Kimpton Hotel spot added the Dog Days Sour ($12) last month, featuring Bulldog Gin, Amaro Nonino, ginger liqueur, Salers Gentiane Liqueur, lemon, and basil. It will remain on the menu till the end of September.
2121 P St NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

8. Centrolina

974 Palmer Alley NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The Italian restaurant and market introduced the Rimini ($12) in the spring, made with two types of amari, pineapple, and Avua Cachaca.
974 Palmer Alley NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

9. Don Ciccio & Figli

6031 Kansas Ave, Washington, D.C.
Though locals know Don Ciccio for its tastings of artisanal Italian liqueurs, the distillery will sell bottled cocktails starting Sept. 17. Prices will range from $20-$42 for 200ml and 350 ml bottles. Amaro offerings will include the Vecchia Passione with three types of amari, two aperitifs, and two bitters and the Sorrentino, with Luna Amara bitter, Limoncello, vermouth, and lime juice.
6031 Kansas Ave
Washington, D.C.

10. Tasty Burger

2108 8th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The new Shaw burger joint offers "adult" milkshakes, including a vanilla shake, The Monk ($8.75), made with Amaro Meletti and Chartreuse.
2108 8th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

11. Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro

1940 11th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Vinoteca’s La Volpe cocktail ($12) mixes Amaro Montenegro, Copper Fox Rye, vermouth, and Angostura bitters.
1940 11th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

12. RPM Italian

601 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
RPM Italian offers a take on the classic Negroni, adding Don Ciccio & Figli Amaro delle Sirene to the mix. The RPM Negroni runs $15.
601 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

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