Amaro San Simone. One of the side missions for my recent Italy trip was to seek out and try all the local amaro. Well, I left Italy with a single one (mostly bc I couldn’t fit more in my luggage), and it’s none other than Amaro San Simone from Turin.
Turin was our first stop in Italy (a super underrated city, btw) and everywhere I went (cafes, bars, restaurants, grocery markets, corner stores), my eyes would first dart to the backbar displaying the liquor selection to seek out the most commonly stocked and served spirits (see @barfaithdrinks for all my backbar explorations). In Turin, San Simone was EVERYWHERE, so I knew I couldn’t leave without a bottle.
Amaro San Simone is made in Turin, Italy from 34 different botanicals mostly found locally in the Piedmont region of Italy. ‘Amaro’ is a category of traditionally-Italian bittersweet liqueurs that’s often drank as a digestive aid after a meal. They vary in aromatic profile, bitterness, and sweetness, and are notoriously difficult to describe in flavor (being so complex), but I would say San Simone is a medium bodied (similar in consistency to Cynar), dark and moderately sweet amaro with a very unique subtle minty backdrop. I’m not a big fan of mint in most things, but something about its subtlety in this is just very refreshing and delightful. It’s not available in the US unfortunately, but make sure you keep an eye out for this bottle next time you’re in northern Italy!
For anyone who’s interested, the other most popular amari/liqueurs I saw throughout my trip were: Lucano, Vecchio del Capo, Montenegro, Averna, Cynar, Braulio, Fernet Branca, Branca Menta, Jaegermeister, Unicum, Martini Bitter, Aperol, Campari, and Molinari Sambuca.