Call for Volunteers: Gli Amari

I really like a class of alcohol that many people don’t: Italian bitter aperitivs and digestifs, known in Italian as amari. Campari, Strega, Averna – I find they settle my stomach and soothe my soul.

Often, I find that it’s almost impossible to describe the taste of these drinks to those that haven’t tried them. And, even with my travels, there are still many that I haven’t tried yet.

So: I would like to call for volunteers to participate in a tasting panel whose purpose will be to taste, rate, and describe in detail a large number of these amari. I haven’t yet decided on the date, time, and place, although in the back of my mind I have a few bars and restaurants that usually have a good stock of these liqueurs. I’ll probably try to get this sponsored by wherever we have the tasting, but if that fails, expect to pay a nominal fee to play (cost-based – I’m not trying to make a profit on this, and since these are bitters, I doubt mass quantities will be required). I haven’t decided yet whether it should be a blind taste-test or not.

Requirements: you must be at least 21 years old, live in the Pittsburgh area, and be willing to provide your own transporation there and back (which means a designated driver). You must not be an alcoholic or be allergic to alcohol. You should be talkative, and should be willing to be tape-recorded for later transcription. You do not have to like bitters (and in fact I think it would be kind of fun to have someone that doesn’t offering their opinions), but you have to at least taste everything we’re evaluating. I’ll ask participants to sign a waiver and release giving me permission to republish their words in this space.

If you think you are interested in being on the panel, please send email to: bitters -at- I think I only need a small number of panel members, so please don’t be offended if you aren’t chosen. But I promise to respond to everyone who offers to participate.