Dating back centuries, this herbal liqueur was first crafted by monks believing it had supernatural powers. Amaro Montenegro is the variety favored most by a very 'cultured' friend Mary and Gresham make on their travels.
Amaro Montenegro is a traditional amaro distilled in Bologna, Italy. It is made using over 40 herbs, including vanilla and orange peels, bottled at 23%vol. The amaro was first produced by Stanislao Cobianchi in the late 19th century and is named after Princess Elena of Montenegro.
Originally only produced in small monasteries production quickly grew in the late nineteenth century to huge to expansive plants to cope with demand. The distillation process varies, but typically centeres around a unique recipe of herbs and spices that are infused into a rich spirit after maceration. Secrecy always remains integral – so much so that only a few family members of each generation know the recipes, with different Amaro flavor variations including everything from flowers to roots.
Similar liqueurs have traditionally been produced throughout Europe. There are local varieties in Germany (where they are called Kräuterlikör), in Hungary, the Netherlands, and France, but the term Amaro is applied only to the Italian varieties.