Amaro, Italy\u2019s signature bitter liqueur, is prized for all the barks and herbs that famously aid digestion after a big meal. But the spirit offers much more than its bitter reputation.\r\n\r\n\u201cEach amaro is made with so many different ingredients\u2014spices, roots, peels, barks, flowers\u2014they have a lot of complexity on their own,\u201d says Joe Campanale, owner and beverage director of Fausto in Brooklyn, New York. \u201cThey\u2019re almost like their own cocktail.\u201d\r\n\r\nWith recipes often honed over decades or centuries, it\u2019s no wonder that amaro producers keep their formulations on tight lockdown. Most bottlings promote at least a couple of key flavorings that range from spices to flowers or fruits, while others can be detected through thoughtful tasting.\r\n\r\nThis guide focuses on those ingredients and elements, many of which point to a sense of place: Amari from Italy\u2019s sunny south may feature bright citrus notes, while alpine spirits, made farther north, are often laced with herbs and intense bittering agents harvested from the mountain ranges.\r\nFruits and Vegetables\r\nOrange:\u00a0Amaro dell\u2019Etna\r\nThis Sicilian amaro was introduced to the U.S. in 2017, though its recipe dates to 1901. It\u2019s a relatively light, easy sipper that\u2019s more bittersweet than outrageously bitter. More than 26 ingredients are listed on the label, many of which thrive in the volcanic soil at the base of Mount Etna, for which the amaro is named. They include bitter orange peels, licorice and vanilla, while the finish boasts enticing hints of spice and smoke.\r\nFennel:\u00a0Le Vigne di Alice Amaro d\u2019Erbe Nina\r\nMade by sisters-in-law Cinzia Canzian and Pier Francesca Bonicelli, who also make Prosecco in the northernmost reaches of the Conegliano and Valdobiaddene hills, this is a vegetal, bracing amaro. The recipe includes more than 30 herbs and botanicals, many harvested from the surrounding Dolomite mountains. Fresh fennel leads the way, with lighter peppermint, sage and orange peel accents. It\u2019s named after Canzian\u2019s aunt, Nina, who created the recipe.\r\nArtichoke:\u00a0Cynar\r\nYes, that\u2019s an artichoke on the label, and this relatively low-alcohol amaro, pronounced CHEE-nar, is named for the Latin word for the plant. The flavor isn\u2019t as vegetal as its signature ingredient suggests. Overall, it\u2019s cola-like, with earthy, herbal undertones and a mellow caramel finish. At only 16.5% alcohol by volume (abv), it\u2019s enjoyable on its own, but it also plays well in a wide range of cocktails, such as spritzes. Prefer more punch? Cynar 70 doubles the alcohol of the original recipe.\r\n\r\n\r\nBarks, Beans and Pods\r\nAnise:\u00a0Amaro Meletti\r\nA perfect dessert partner, this rich, amber-hued amaro almost tastes like an anise-laced caramel that finishes with a pleasing baking-spice exhale. Meletti has been family-owned for five generations, and many of its ingredients, like saffron, one of its signature flavorings, are sourced from the Marche region of Italy. Sip or mix this versatile amaro, which skews more sweet bitter than medicinal.\r\nVanilla:\u00a0Amaro Montenegro\r\nThis gentle, easy-drinking amaro was created in 1885, and it was later named in honor of Princess Elena of Montenegro, who reigned from 1900\u20131946. This is a good starter bottle for newcomers. Light and mixable, it\u2019s made with familiar flavorings like vanilla and orange peel. Overall, it\u2019s sweeter and fruitier than most bottlings, braced up by mild bitterness. The flavor profile is a little like a citrus-tinged sarsaparilla. Sip or mix into citrusy cocktails.\r\nCardamom, Clove:\u00a0Ramazzotti Amaro\r\nCreated in Milan in 1815 by Ausano Ramazzotti, this is one of the oldest commercial amari available in the U.S. A blend of 33 fruits, herbs and botanicals, this spirit has a flavor profile that\u2019s almost reminiscent of cherry cola. It can hint at fruity, bittersweet notes like rhubarb and orange at first, but gives way to vanilla sweetness and spice through the close. Mix it with whiskey in a Black Manhattan.\r\n\r\n\r\nFlowers, Roots and Herbs\r\nEucalyptus, Mint, Juniper:\u00a0Braulio Amaro\r\nCreated in 1875 and hailing from a town in the Italian Alps near the Swiss border, some consider this to be the ultimate apr\u00e8s-ski amaro. It features a top-secret mix of Alpine herbs and botanicals foraged from the hillsides, and is aged for two years in oak barrels. It\u2019s characterized by a deep brown hue and is intensely aromatic, with pronounced scents of spearmint, pine and eucalyptus, while the finish boasts a warming spice flavor. Think of it as a walk through the forest, glass in hand.\r\nChamomile:\u00a0Amaro Sibilla\r\nThis is an intense amaro, heavy on bittering agents like cinchona bark and gentian root, tempered by a dose of local honey. The overall effect suggests baked fruit, candied walnuts and unsweetened chocolate, though a bitter streak plows right through the middle of the palate. It was first produced in 1868 by herbalist Girolamo Varnelli, who named it for the legend of the Sibillini Mountains oracle, Sibilla.\r\nRhubarb Root:\u00a0Zucca Rabarbaro\r\nItaly\u2019s role as a port for the medieval spice trade has added all manner of exotic flavorings to the amaro canon. This one\u2019s recipe was created in 1845 by Ettore Zucca, who bestowed the creation with his last name, which means \u201csquash\u201d in Italian. Rabarbaro, meanwhile, refers to its key ingredient, Chinese rhubarb root, which contributes a medicinal note to the otherwise pleasantly bittersweet flavor profile. A lingering cardamom element makes for a gentle finish.