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Amaro Class: Uncover The Bitter Sweetness

Amaro lightning bolt flyerThis is a description of my Amaro class. I am currently teaching this class at Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco as part of their Beverage Academy

Find all of my classes and events and links to purchase tickets at the Classes and Events page here on 


Amaro: Uncover The Bitter Sweetness

Bittersweet liqueurs like Campari, Fernet-Branca, Cynar, Averna, and Amaro Nonino are flavored with a wide range of botanicals, but nearly all of them have a backbone built from wormwood, quinine, gentian, and/or rhubarb root. In this class we’ll taste these four individual bitter components of amaros plus EIGHT different and delicious examples of the category to train our palates to recognize them.

This tasting class for the bitter-curious will combine history and botany (all of these plants were used as medicine at one point) with some physiology of taste to explain why we don’t all experience bitterness to the same levels. We’ll also cover the way bitter and bittersweet liqueurs and fortified wines can be classified, including the categories of americanos, aperitif liqueurs, vermouths, rabarbaros, quinquinas, fernets, and more!

Students will leave with a cheat sheet of class information so that they can focus on tasting rather than taking notes.

Your professor is Camper English of Camper is the author of Doctors and Distillers: The Remarkable Medicinal History of Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Cocktails, in which he traced the historic use of bitter botanicals in spirits. Doctors and Distillers has been described as “every bit as entertaining as it is educational” (Scientific American), “best savored, not shot-gunned, with a drink in hand” (Science), and “a tirelessly researched book on the centuries-long relationship between medicine and booze” (New York Times). Copies of the book are available as an add-on to the class.

Camper has been studying the craft cocktail renaissance in San Francisco and around the world for over fifteen years and has contributed to publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, Popular Science, Saveur, Whisky Advocate, and The Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails. He is a dynamic speaker and educator who teaches cocktail history and hands-on classes like this one. His most recent work is The Ice Book: Cool Cubes, Clear Spheres, and Other Chill Cocktail Crafts, and be sure to look for Beverage Academy classes focusing on ice!


Amaro lightning bolt flyer Amaro class photos Nov 2023 2


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