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Gary Law temp byline 2021

How to enjoy the sweet life with drinks that leave a bitter taste in your mouth

Gary Law


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Michael Caine as Batman’s butler Alfred with a glass of Fernet Branca in the 2012 movie, The Dark Knight Rises

Michael Caine as Batman’s butler Alfred with a glass of Fernet Branca in the 2012 movie, The Dark Knight Rises

Michael Caine as Batman’s butler Alfred with a glass of Fernet Branca in the 2012 movie, The Dark Knight Rises

The Italians call it ‘amaro’, in France it’s a ‘digestif’ — here it would be ‘Oh my God, that’s stinkin’. What am I talking about? It’s that family of bitter liqueurs much revered by discerning Europeans as an after-dinner delight, yet here in the land of the bun and the traybake, they cause most people to pull a face after one sip and push their glass away.

Bitter liqueurs have been dividing drinkers for a couple of centuries or more. They’re the Marmite of the drinks world, blending alcohol with all manner of herbs and spices and varying dramatically in strength. But invariably they have one thing in common — a mouth-puckering sharpness. They’re as bitter as Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard.


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