Kara Newman

Spirits Editor

Reviews spirits.

Kara Newman is the Spirits Editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and author of Cocktails for a Crowd (coming in Spring 2013) and Spice & Ice: 60 tongue-tingling cocktails, both from Chronicle Books. An active member of the New York cocktail and mixology scene, she loves dive bars and speakeasies alike.

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Showing 1 thru -8 of 1,187
97
points

Amaro Montenegro

  1. $29
One of the lightest and gentlest amari, this amber spirit delicately mixes sarsaparilla-like herbal notes and honey sweetness with just the right bitter edge. Mix it into cocktails—mixologists love this amaro—or sip it as a delightful digestif.  — K.N.  (4/1/2014)
96
points

Amaro Nonino

  1. $54
Tawny and bright in the glass, this mellow, bittersweet beauty offers caramel and vanilla, braced by allspice and bitter orange. Although Nonino is best known for its grappas, this amaro, flavored with herbs from the mountains of Friuli, is worth seeking out. Consider it for dessert pairings or an edgy spin on a negroni.  — K.N.  (4/1/2014)
95
points

Caffo Solara

  1. $27
Made with brandy and oranges from southern Italy, this orange liqueur is rich and authentic, with orange peel and blossom aromas and flavors as well as a long, vanilla-forward finish. A flicker of alcohol-derived heat balances out the sweetness. Savor it as a delicious finish to a meal or use it as a versatile cocktail mixer.  — K.N.  (4/1/2014)
95
points

Carpano Antica Formula

  1. $35
Rich, fruity and enticing, this sweet vermouth is warmed with notes of fig and dried cherries, and just faint hints of spiced gingerbread and bitter orange peel. Drinkable solo as an apéritif, or use it as a cocktail-mixing favorite.  — K.N.  (4/1/2014)
95
points

Vecchia Romagna Riserva

Rivalling fine French brandies of similar age (10 years), this riserva is scented with honey and dates. On the palate, complex flavors run to dried fruit, baking spice and caramel.  — K.N.  (4/1/2014)
94
points

Ramazzotti Amaro

  1. $25
Although it appears dark, inky and sin¬ister in the glass, this amaro is on the sweet and gentle side. Think ripe plums, dark berries and cola, with a pleasingly spiced finish and just the faintest bitter edge. It’s enjoyable to sip straight up with a twist of lemon peel, or lightened with a splash of club soda.  — K.N.  (4/1/2014)
94
points

Vecchio Amaro del Capo

  1. $27
Made using a mix of 29 Calabrian herbs and roots, this ruddy amaro is herbal and seductive, mixing root beer-like notes with honey and vanilla sweetness, all enlivened by a spicy accent on the finish. Versatile enough to mix into cocktails before dinner or to sip with dessert afterward.  — K.N.  (4/1/2014)
94
points

Carpano Bianco

  1. $21
New to the U.S. market, this dry vermouth smells fresh and fruity. It’s well-structured, too: sweet at first, with fleeting pear and tropical fruit flavors, a trace of minerality on the finish and a faint bitterness. An excellent choice for martinis and other cocktails calling for dry vermouth, but unlike most dry vermouths, this one would be pleasing on its own…  — K.N.  (4/1/2014)
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Showing 1 thru -8 of 1,187
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