Cardamaro is digestif amaro from Piedmonte, Italy. It is wine based, and flavored with the cardoon, a relative of the artichoke, and blessed thistle among other herbs and spices. It is light brown, and 34 proof, which is low for typical amaro.
As the only wine-based amaro in the U.S. market, Cardamaro leads one to wonder whether to keep a bottle in the liquor cabinet or the wine cellar. The recipe originated with seventh-generation Piedmont vintner Giovanni Bosca, who infused Moscato wine with cardoon and blessed thistle (relatives of the artichoke family), then aged it in new oak for six months. All this yields a softer product than most brusquely bitter amari, with intriguing nutty, Sherried and spiced flavors—like a shortcut to mulled wine.
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