Best Of British 2017: Artisan London Amaro

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The trend for distinctive, well-crafted drinks is set to continue in 2017 – with consumers continuing to search for authentic and individual products crafted by real people. Which is why the launch of Dispense Amaro from Asterley Bros has been so eagerly anticipated. The unique blend is carefully handmade in South London using only the finest ingredients, creating a heady mix that can be enjoyed in countless ways.

When Rob and Jim, two long-time hospitality professionals, were handed their Sicilian family’s secret recipe for Amaro, they immediately knew they wanted to recreate the historic drink so that a whole new generation could enjoy this complex, spiced and aromatic liqueur. After studying recipes from the 17th century’s ‘London Dispensatory’, a catalogue of the capital’s rich history of tonics and liqueurs, the brothers came up with Dispense, specifically created to suit contemporary taste-buds: a Modern British Amaro. Sicily meets London.

Amaro means bitter in Italian, and while traditional products are usually consumed as a digestif, their Dispense Amaro is versatile enough to make a complex, yet refreshing aperitif too. Made from the perfect blend of 24 botanicals and Rob and Jim’s signature vermouth (produced from British pinot noir supplied by Gusbourne Estates in Kent) the Amaro takes over three months to make using traditional techniques, before being bottled and labelled by hand – showing care and attention right down to the smallest of details.

To help them develop their uniquely British Amaro, Rob and Jim used a dynamic Beta Testing method – comprising 500 unique tasters who helped them to achieve the perfect blend of flavours by tasting each blend and passing on critical feedback. Those keen on joining the Beta Testing ranks can sign up at http://www.asterleybros.com, though spaces are limited. The result? Rich, bitter orange aromas on the nose, moving on to candied grapefruit and gentian before the spice notes of cardamom and clove develop. The smooth texture allows the flavours to expand on the palate, from citrus peel into bitter cocoa notes. Herbal tones of fennel, rosemary and wormwood are revealed as the citrus recedes – a heady mix to delight even the most discerning of tasters.

Serving suggestions
Delicious served with tonic, or as an addition to a classic G&T, Dispense Amaro is an ideal cocktail ingredient. Try these unique blends to wow your friends and family:

Twilight / Aperitif: London Primer

35ml Dispense Amaro
35ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
75ml BTW Tonic Water
Fill a tall glass full of ice and pour over the ingredients. Serve with a sprig of rosemary.

After Hours / Digestif: Dispense With The Niceties

35ml Dispense Amaro
35ml Sweet Vermouth
35ml Dark Rum
Add ingredients to a tumbler with ice, stir for 60 seconds and serve with a strip of grapefruit zest.

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