Amaro Amore—What is Mr Black Amaro?
Time to wake up and smell the coffee… spirits! We’re diving into the deliciously dark world of Mr Black coffee liqueur—in particular their Amaro.
Mr Black has been around since 2014, right when the espresso martini was hitting its straps and cold drip coffee had entered the mainstream.
Since then, this superb Aussie craft coffee liqueur has become a firm favourite for bars—home and professional alike.
And following on from their original recipe, which is made with real cold-drip coffee using sustainably sourced coffee beans and Aussie-made wheat-based vodka, in 2019 Mr Black launched their Amaro version of the coffee liqueur.
What is amaro?
Originally an Italian spirit, amaro is the collective name for often bitter and herbaceous spirits that can be either enjoyed neat, over ice or in cocktails.
Probably the most famous amaro is Campari.
But there are hundreds of others, and the style has been adopted here in Australia as well.
Mr Black Amaro Coffee Liqueur
Combining the deep flavours of the original Mr Black coffee liqueur, head distiller Philip Moore has used 14 individual distillates of things like local grapefruit, orange and lime peel, gentian, macadamia nut and Angelica root to create the amaro element of this spirit.
Linking up with the bitter-sweet flavours of the arabica bean from Colombia, Kenya and PNG, the bitterness, citrus and aromatic herbs from the amaro make a base allowing you to mix up a whole new range of cocktails at home.
Because of the extra distillates involved with the Amaro, this has a slightly higher ABV than the original Mr Black. But at 28.5%, it’s still only the same or similar to Campari in alcohol.
How to use Mr Black Amaro
Just like its original counterpart, Mr Black Amaro is very versatile.
Pretty much anywhere you use a regular amaro but want to infuse a deeper, richer, sweeter element with hints of coffee and chocolate, that’s where Mr Black Amaro comes in.
Think spritz Aperols, negronis and spagliatos.
But you can also fancy things up adding it to a Blackjack, which is usually just cognac, kirsch and cold coffee.
Here’s how you do it with Mr Black Amaro for an extra Aussie Blackjack:
30ml Australian brandy - 23rd Street’s Prime 5 is perfect for this
15ml Mr Black Amaro
15ml Rhubi Mistelle
25ml chilled or cold-filtered coffee
- Shake over ice and strain into an old fashioned tumbler.
The Rhubi Mistelle—a French style rhubarb aperitif from Victoria—is distilled rhubarb juice and also has gentian as a botanical, which matches well with the amaro in Mr Black.
The result is an amazing spirit-forward coffee cocktail that blows any espresso martini completely out of the water. Sharp and zesty, yet full-bodied and rich, with those coffee and cacao notes holding it all up with the roundness of the brandy at the base.
Mr Black Amaro and Tonic
But if you don’t want to go to all that trouble, this incredibly simple way to enjoy Mr Black Amaro will probably surprise you as much as it did us.
Adding 60ml Mr Black Amaro over ice and topping up with tonic water creates an unbelievably refreshing yet complex drink.
Bright, sharp flavours from the tonic combine with the spicy herbal notes of the amaro, and the effervescence of the tonic adds freshness. But you also get those deep coffee and chocolate flavours from the cold brew coffee used in their unique recipe.