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Thursday 29 February 2024

Putting new wave amari on the map

There are frequent sparkling wine celebrations and tastings, and most table wines have a special day on which they are celebrated.

One beverage which often flies under the radar, however, is amaro, a herbal liqueur that originated in Italy and is noteworthy for its bitter flavours (amaro is Italian for bitter).

Amaro is usually produced by macerating a melange of herbs, roots, flowers, bark, and/or citrus peel in alcohol. Think commercial brands like Fernet Branca.

At least one Melbourne restaurant/bar is tipping amaro to be a drink style that booms in 2024 with several Australian producers releasing their versions of the classic.

To showcase traditional and modern takes on amaro, the two-hatted Yarraville fine diner, Navi, has launched an Amaro Tasting Flight Experience that will run through March.

Available in Navi Lounge (the stand-alone bar next door to the restaurant), the new Amaro Tasting Flight features a selection of five, small-batch amari handpicked by Navi bar manager Miriam Wahlhütter. ⁠

The flight represents a broad spectrum of styles, mixing traditional drops hailing from its birthplace with modern iterations from local Victorian distilleries.

Some of her chosen drops this month include a Native Australian Amaro from Autonomy, a traditional Amaro from Bologna and a spicy iteration from Beechworth Bitters. ⁠

Guests can experience a flight of three for $35 or a flight of five for $50 in the lounge from 5:30pm-11:30pm Wednesday to Friday and from 2pm-11:30pm on Saturdays.

Bookings can be made for Navi Lounge via this website but walk-ins are welcome.

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