Amaro Abano is an alcoholic bitters — the kind you drink straight up, as opposed to a concentrated bitter that you put a few drops of into other drinks.
It is meant to be drunk as a digestive after a meal; you can have it on ice or not.
It is dark brown and somewhat thick, like a liqueur in consistency.
It has a slightly smoky taste and a bit of sweetness. Some think they detect peppermint as well.
Ingredients include bitter orange peel, cardamom, cinchona, cinnamon, condurango and herbs. The herbs are said by Luxardo, the drink’s makers, to be grown in the “Colli Euganei” (the Euganean hills in Torreglia, in the middle of Veneto.)
It is 30 to 35% alcohol. Luxardo also make a “dry” version which is 32% alcohol.
It is very popular in the Veneto region of Italy.
Abano was a Roman spa town just south of Padova, and is still today the centre of a spa region where people go for mud-bath treatments.
“Amaro” means “bitter”.