St. George Bruto Americano Aperitivo (750ml)
Wine & Spirits
*Year's Best Spirits 2016* A new year can hardly pass without another radiant offering from Lance Winters and Alameda-based St. George Spirits. Bruto Americano is an American aperitivo, bittered largely with gentian root, while California-grown Seville oranges and buckthorn bark provide orange and woodsy notes. The flavor may recall Campari (with a hint of Aperol citrus)—as does the color, a lush vermillion derived from cochineal, as Campari used to be—but the soothing texture and complexity puts it in a category of its own. BA’s gorgeous Italian futurist label shines brilliantly with a sense of novelty, as well as optimism that even crowded, old categories can be refreshed. (JM)
From the distillery: "Ready for a bigger, better, bitterer bar? Say hello to Bruto Americano! With a bracing dose of bitterness, a bright pop of citrus, and intriguing sylvan notes inspired by distiller Lance Winters’ formative experiences growing up in California in the 1970s, Bruto is a bitter aperitivo liqueur that makes us as proud as it does thirsty. Compare it to the other aperitivos you’ve been drinking and experience what you’ve been missing. A variety of herbs, roots, and other botanicals. Though the exact number of ingredients and formulation are proprietary, we will say that the bitterness comes primarily from gentian root; the citrus notes mostly from California-grown Seville orange; and the woodsy notes from balsam fir and Cascara sagrada, bark from the coffee berry bush, which grows in some of California’s moister areas. Some ingredients are hot-steeped, others are cold-infused. The resulting mixture is filtered and then colored in the traditional manner with cochineal. Vibrant citrus, with notes of cinnamon, sandalwood, and forest on the nose. Initial palate entry is bitter, followed by a woodsy mid-palate and lingering bitter/citrus finish."