Amaro Nonino, part of the Amaro classification, is commonly used in cocktails, mixers, and several baked goods. Amaro is not always easily found in the grocery store and can be relatively expensive. Do you know that a bottle of Amaro Nonino can cost up $60?
You can use many substitutes for Amaro Nonino, such as other Amaros, Gammel Dansk, Vermouth, or Bonal Gentaine Quina. $60 is a bit on the pricey side, especially if you need the liqueur for just one recipe. You don’t want to buy a costly bottle just to use it once and let it sit for the rest of eternity. Or maybe you can’t find it in your local grocery store. In any case, you’re in the right place.
What is Amaro Nonino?
Amaro Nonino is a type of herbal liqueur in the Amaro category, along with Amaro Montenegro, Amaro Tosolini, Amaro Meletii, Amaro Averna, and Cynar. The Amaro Nonino, bottled at 35% ABV or alcohol per volume, represents the bittersweet Amaro liqueurs. Amaro Nonino, typically used in the cocktail Paper Plane, is aged up to 12 months in barrels.
The yellow amber-hued, transparent liquid with its coppery tint, Amaro Nonino, can be great served on the rocks with an orange slice. Amaro Nonino is also a digestif, making it great for aiding digestion.
Mixers and cocktails can usually use Amaro Nonino in the following ways:
- Paper Plane.
- Bloody Valentine.
- Coochi Cola.
- Amara Sour.
- Amaro Spritz.
- Forever Young.
- Black Manhattan.
What Does Nonino Amaro Taste Like?
Amaro Nonino, with its citrusy aromas, is famous for its complex flavor profile. Amaro Nonino will give you one of the most distinct flavors. Bitter and sweet with what most would describe as orange or mango with notes of honey, spices, fruit, herbs, vanilla, and even wildflowers. You may get a subtle aftertaste of caramel with hints of spice.
The main ingredients in Amaro, meaning “little bitter” in Italian, Nonino can include but are not limited to:
- Bitter orange.
Although the primary ingredients are pretty effortlessly determined, the exact composition of Amaro Nonino is unidentified. There has been a great deal of secrecy surrounding Amaro Nonino’s formula composition for centuries.
What Can I Use Instead of Amaro Nonino?
Other Amaro Liqueurs as Alternatives
As mentioned above, Amaro is a category of liqueurs. That said, a few other kinds of Amaro liqueurs could make an excellent substitute. Any variation of Amaro Liqueurs will make an ideal substitute you can use instead of Amaro Nonino and will not disappoint you.
1. Amaro Averna
First and foremost, the most prominent and ideal substitute. The flavor profile of Amaro Averna is almost identical to Amaro Nonino, giving you the same flavor. Amaro Averna has lots of sweetness, caramel, citrus, and herbal notes, remarkably similar to Amaro Nonino.
With being bottled at 29% alcohol per volume, it has a bit lower ABV, which makes it a perfect alternative if you’re looking for a less potent substitute. Amaro Averna has a thicker consistency, resembling syrup, giving a wonderful mouthfeel.
Amaro Averna has hints of orange in aroma and flavor, which makes it a suitable replacement for use in a cocktail or served on the rocks as a digestif. You can use Amaro Averna precisely as you would Amaro Nonino; a 1-to-1 ratio.
2. Amaro Montenegro
Another great substitute for Amaro Nonino would be Amaro Montenegro, considering they are part of the same category. However, Amaro Montenegro, flavored with 40 different herbs and botanicals, is somewhat on the sweeter side as opposed to Amaro Nonino.
Nonetheless, this Italian alcoholic beverage, Amaro Montenegro, is lovely for sipping and use in cocktails. The orange flavor is less sharp or intense, and its floral, citrusy flavor makes for a fantastic substitute for Amaro Nonino.
Named after a princess, Amaro Montenegro is not only a low alcoholic content beverage, bottled at 23%, it is also a digestif! Many great benefits come with using Amaro Montenegro as a substitute for Amaro Montenegro, as they both have great benefits.
3. Amaro Tosolini
Another alcoholic beverage of the Amaro family is Amaro Tosolini. This Mediterranean herbal liqueur, barrel-aged to develop a richer flavor, is flavored with 15 different flavors. The most prominent flavors in Amaro Tosolini include wormwood, bitter orange, and gentian. With its similar bittersweet flavors to Amaro Nonino, it is balanced out with warm, spicy notes that warm your tongue.
Amaro Tosolini and Amaro Nonino have many similarities with little to no difference in taste, texture, and alcohol content. However, with Amaro Tosolini bottled at 30% and Amaro Nonino bottled at 35%, you will notice little to no change in your drinks, baked goods, and more.
With all the similarities and minor differences, not to mention being in the same family, you could use Amaro Tosolini as an ideal substitute for Amaro Nonino.
4. Amaro Meletti
Although part of the Amaro family, Amaro Meletti is slightly different from your other alternatives. Amaro Meletti has a much lower orange and citrusy flavor than other Amaros can give you. However, it has more noticeable caramel and fruity hints than other Amaros. You could efficiently serve Amaro Meletti on the rocks and sip it; it has a great flavor.
With that in mind, Amaro Meletti can make for a great alternative to Amaro Nonino, giving you a similar taste and texture in your final product. Bottled at 32%ABV or Alcohol by Volume, Amaro Meletti works exceptionally well as a substitute for Amaro Nonino.
Amaro Meletti is a dark amber, burgundy color, which may affect your final product’s appearance. Remember that when substituting for Amaro Nonino. You may also want to try Amaro Meletti over ice; it makes for a perfect digestif.
You may not think of the Amaro category when you hear of Cynar. Yet, Cynar is part of the Amaro family. However, the two are not always associated with each other. With that said, you can still use Cynar as a substitute for Amaro Nonino.
Made with 13 herbs and plants, Cynar has a secret recipe like most in the Amaro classification. Regardless, Cynar is the most unusual Italian Amaro Liqueur. Cynar’s bittersweet flavor, bitter chocolate, and orange notes make for an ideal alternative.
Surpirngsly enough, artichoke is your primary ingredient in Cynar. Did you know that exposing your tongue to artichokes will make anything else you ingest after will taste extraordinarily sugary? The salt in the artichokes will alter your palate to make things sweeter than they genuinely are.
However, Cynar is very low in alcoholic content, bottled at 16.5% Alcohol by volume. Though the variation, Cynar 70 has a much higher alcoholic content if you are looking for a high alcoholic content alternative.
6. Gammel Dansk
An extremely popular Danish bitter, Gammel Dansk, can give you a perfect alternative for Amaro Nonino. Gammel Dansk has a significantly similar makeup to Amaro liqueurs with 29 different herbs and spices. Though it is not part of the Amaro family, it can make for a great substitute, as many other liquors can.
Gammel Dansk will give you a complex and fragrant final product as it is particularly aromatic. Gammel Dansk’s prominent flavors are star anise, licorice, cinnamon, Seville orange, and ginger. Therefore, Gammel Dansk will give you a very spiced but bitter and somewhat sweet flavor with fruity hints.
Gammel Dansk can be your perfect alternative if you want to keep the original color of your mixer, cocktail, or even baked goods. Gammel Dansk has a very light, translucent, sort of golden brown color, which is very similar to Amaro Nonino. Hence, your final product’s color will not change as much as other alternatives.
A more accessible, more well-known alcohol you could use as an alternative is Chartreuse. This French Liqueur, Chartreuse, can be easier to find and more inexpensive in your local grocery mart. Its very complex flavor profile can be more intense and earthy and less bitter than Amaro Nonino.
That said, Chartreuse comes in multiple varieties; the main two varieties are Yellow Chartreuse and Green Chartreuse.
The two Chartreuses have a few similarities and differences, such as:
- Bottled at 55% ABV.
- It has a more flavorful punch than Yellow Chartreuse.
- It has more of an aroma than Yellow Chartreuse.
- It contains approximately 130 herbs, plants, and various spices.
- Bottled at 40% ABV, lower than Green Chartreuse.
- It has milder and sweeter notes than Green Chartreuse.
- Less aromatic than Green Chartreuse.
Keep the differences between each color and variety of Chartreuse in mind when you use it as an alternative for Amaro Nonino.
8. Angostura Bitters
Another decent substitute for Amaro Nonino that’s not in the Amaro category is Angostura Bitters. Angostura Bitters originates from a town previously known as Angostura, now known as Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela. Why it is named Angostura Bitters should be pretty apparent to you.
Angostura Bitters is extremely popular for mixers and cocktails. You will only need a few drops of Angostura Bitters when substituting for Amaro Nonino, as this spicy bitter is highly concentrated. Using Angostura Bitters as an alternative for Amaro Nonino is splendid if you want to use just a tad without the excess liquid while still achieving a potent and concentrated taste.
Bottled at 47% ABV, Angostura Bitters, made from predominantly herbs, will give you flavors of cloves and cinnamon with hints of pepper, star anise, and allspice. Angostura Bitters will not disappoint you when used in baked goods; remember that you may need to add a bit more liquid to achieve the desired result.
Another affordable and easy-to-find alternative to Amaro Nonino would be Vermouth. However, it is not all that close to Amaro Nonino as it is a wine-based liqueur, and Amaro Nonino is a grain-based liqueur. It is in your favor to remember that there are multiple varieties of Amaro Nonino so pay attention to the ingredients and what flavor it will give.
Most types of Vermouth will give a prominent taste of spices like cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cardamom, vanilla, and star anise. Vermouth and Amaro Nonino have similar intense citrusy and herbal flavors. In your primary forms of Vermouth, some of the other herbs can include:
- Flowers of sorts.
Vermouth can give you the same citrusy, spicy flavor you are looking for when using Amaro Nonino. You can use Vermouth in practically anything that you would use Amaro Nonino.
10. Bonal Gentiane Quina
Intensely infused with herbs and spices like gentian and cinchona bark, Bonal Gentiane Quina could also be a suitable alternative for you to use in place of Amaro Nonino. Bonal Gentiane Quina has a much more complex flavor profile than Amaro Nonino, with its intense fruity flavor and herbal, zesty finish.
Although Bonal Gentiane Quina is a fortified wine-based liquid, it has similar flavors to Amaro Nonino. The Quina gives you a bitter taste similar to most types of Amari. With a similar taste of licorice and citrus-like Amaro Nonino, Bonal Gentiane Quina can provide you with a more intense cherry flavor.
Bonal Gentiane Quina can make for a perfect alternative in most of your recipes, mixers, or cocktails. Use Bonal Gentaine Quina precisely as you would Amaro Nonino.
A decent replacement for Amaro Nonino you could try would be Ramazzotti. Ramazzotti is one of Italy’s most famous bitter aperitifs. Serving Ramazzotti over ice with a slice of orange before a meal can stimulate hunger. Ramazzotti is also a great replacement in most cocktails, bottled at 30% ABV.
With its hints of berries, citrus, herbal bitterness, and a trace of a licorice taste, you can use Ramazzotti in almost anything that you’d use Amaro Nonino as a component.
This German liquor, Jägermeister, is very closely related to the Amari family. Brewed of 56 herbs and spices, Jägermeister will make an exceptional substitute for Amaro Nonino. Jägermeister will work just as well as Amaro Nonino in any recipe, cocktail, or mixer you want to make. Though, Jägermeister is best for you to use in a mixer or cocktail.
You are better off if you keep in mind that Jägermeister has a thicker, syrupy consistency, so it might change the texture of your final product. However, Jägermeister and Amaro Nonino have the same alcohol by volume of 35%, making them effortlessly substituted if you want to keep the same alcoholic content.
Jägermeister can also add an additional amount of flavor, depth, and complexity to your mixers, recipes, or cocktails.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I drink Amaro?
Commonly, Amaro is used as a “midnight digestif” to keep your digestive system regular or enjoyed over the rocks at sundown as a wind-down drink to end your day. Due to its digestif properties, you should drink Amaro after a meal. As a digestif, it will help digest the meal you just finished.
Can you drink Amaro Nonino straight?
Yes, you are more than able to drink Amaro Nonino straight. Though, you may want to serve over ice for the best results. Amaro Nonino has a very bitter taste, so you may want to dilute it with seltzer, water, or as a mixer. As always, you should responsibly drink when drinking Amaro Nonino straight or any alcohol, for that matter.
Should you keep Amaro in the fridge?
You have to refrigerate Amaro after opening, like many things you consume. It will last just as long as similar liqueurs, spirits, or wines, approximately two weeks.
In short, many substitutes will give you the flavor and complexity of Amaro Nonino. Whether it is Angostura Bitters, Chartreuse, Vermouth, or Ramazzotti, you are sure to find a suitable replacement for Amaro Nonino.