Cardamaro is a digestif amaro based on Piemontese Moscato wine flavored with botanicals – most notably Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus), a thistle-like plant after which this amaro is named, that is also known as ‘artichoke thistle’, ‘cardone’ or ‘cardoni’. (Cardamaro has nothing to do with cardamom.)

Other ingredients in the eighth-generation recipe include St. Benedict’s thistle (Cnicus benedictus), also known as ‘blessed thistle‘, ginger, other botanicals, and sugar. The various aromatic herbs are individually macerated in neutral alcohol and these infusions are blended with Moscato wine and sugar (170 g/l).

Cardamaro is rested in oak tanks for at least six months prior to bottling. This aperitif can be categorized as an aromatized wine and or an amaro – it is both. It is also believed to contain wormwood, in which case it can also be considered a vermouth. However, its foremost character is as an amaro.  It really tastes like a lighter, more drinkable version of Cynar,   

Mix Cardamaro with cider or ginger ale, or use in place of vermouth for an earthier take on classic cocktails. Cardamaro can also be used in place of whiskey for subtle cocktails, such as with Sweet Vermouth in the Lower Manhattan.  

Cardamaro comes from an Italian family producing wine and amaro since 1820 in Canelli, in the very heart of Piedmont. Today, principals Giovanni Bosca and Mariacristina Castelletta, along with their sons Giulio and Guglielmo, helm the company. Ancestor Rachele Torlasco Bosca, a scholar and herbalist, created Cardamaro Vino Amaro in the 1950s after she became fascinated with the physiological properties of the locally grown cardoon. Over the following years, Bosca’s herbalists perfected the recipe, incorporating 23 additional botanicals on a base of local wine. 


Lower Manhattan
Stir with ice:
2 oz Cardamaro Vino Amaro
1 oz Rouge Vermouth de Chambéry
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Strain into a coupe.
Garnish with an orange peel.

Harvest Cocktail
Stir with ice:
1.5 oz apple brandy 1.5 oz Cardamaro Vino Amaro
2 dash Angostura Bitters
Strain into a coupe.
Garnish with a lemon peel.



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