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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.
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The Oval Room

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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.

Alta Strada

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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.

STK DC

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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.

Roofers Union

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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.

Masseria

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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.

All Purpose

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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.

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.

Centrolina

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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.

Don Ciccio & Figli

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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.

Tasty Burger

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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.

Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro

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Vinoteca’s La Volpe cocktail ($12) mixes Amaro Montenegro, Copper Fox Rye, vermouth, and Angostura bitters.

RPM Italian

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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.

The Oval Room

This month The Oval Room added a twist on the classic Brooklyn cocktail with dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, Journeyman rye whiskey, and Montenegro Amaro.

Alta Strada

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.

STK DC

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.

Roofers Union

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.

Masseria

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.

All Purpose

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.

Urbana

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.

Centrolina

The Italian restaurant and market introduced the Rimini ($12) in the spring, made with two types of amari, pineapple, and Avua Cachaca.

Don Ciccio & Figli

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.

Tasty Burger

The new Shaw burger joint offers "adult" milkshakes, including a vanilla shake, The Monk ($8.75), made with Amaro Meletti and Chartreuse.

Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro

Vinoteca’s La Volpe cocktail ($12) mixes Amaro Montenegro, Copper Fox Rye, vermouth, and Angostura bitters.

RPM Italian

RPM Italian offers a take on the classic Negroni, adding Don Ciccio & Figli Amaro delle Sirene to the mix. The RPM Negroni runs $15.

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