I am completely obsessed with those fragrant, herbal, Italian liqueurs that fall under the category of "amaro." I love 'em neat, with a bit of soda, or splashed into cocktails. It never occurred to me that I could DIY the stuff, but Food 52 has come up with a method to do just that.
Photo by Liza.</small
Like any infusion, it's mostly a matter of throwing plant parts into alcohol and letting it sit for a while, but there's a little dilution (and maths) involved as well. First, grab a jar, and absolutely fill it with your botanical(s) of choice. (Click the link below for suggestions, but a combination of lemon and cardamom sounds dreamy to me.) Grab some really strong booze — aim for 100 proof or higher — and pour it in. Let everything hang out for at least a week, or up to a month if you're using a weaker spirit.
When everything is nice and infused, make a simple syrup by mixing equal parts sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar just dissolves. Once it cools, use the syrup to dilute your infusion to around 30-40% ABV. You can calculate it out using this formula, or you can do what I do and just eye-ball it. Usually I am for a little over half the final volume being syrup, with the remainder being booze. Just be sure to strain out all of those herbs and spices before mixing. Once everything is mixed together, Food 52 recommends letting it chill out for another two weeks to let flavours meld.
How to Make Any Kind of Amaro at Home [Food 52]