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Close up of an amaro and bourbon cocktail.
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5 from 2 votes

Amaro Averna Cocktail

This easy to make amaro Averna cocktail combines the enticing flavours of Sicilian Averna liqueur with bourbon and subtle nuances of chocolate, cherries and orange. It's an Averna drink well worth lingering over.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Alcoholic Drink
Cuisine: Italian, Worldwide
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 1
Calories: 209kcal


  • 40 ml Bourbon
  • 20 ml Amaro Averna Siciliano
  • 5 ml Cherry Brandy
  • 5 ml Creme de Cacao white or brown works
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • 2 Cocktail cherries


  • Put a large handful of ice into a jug and add the Averna liqueur, bourbon, creme de cacao and cherry brandy
  • Add 3 dashes of orange bitters
  • Stir for 30-40 seconds to chill and dilute the drink
  • Strain into a rocks glass half-filled with ice
  • Garnish with an orange twist or some cocktail cherries and serve


  • My top tip is to use plenty of ice when making this drink. The ice not only chills the drink but also dilutes those potent spirits and liqueurs
  • Similarly, use good sized ice cubes in the rocks glass to keep the drink well chilled over time. Small ice cubes melt far too quickly
  • Personally, I find this cocktail sweet enough. It's intended to be lingered over to fully enjoy the flavour profile. However, should you find it too bitter, try adding a little sugar cane syrup (add ½ teaspoon at a time, then stir and taste until you are happy with it)
  • Remember that this cocktail is a strong one - sip it slowly and linger of the flavours
Substitutes for the Averna
I chose amaro Averna Siciliano in this cocktail because of the undertones of orange and caramel that this liqueur presents. Any deviation from this amaro is therefore not ideal but the closest acceptable alternatives would be amaro Nonino or Amaro Montenegro.
Definitely do not use Campari, Aperol or Fernet Branca. Each of these Italian bitters has a wildly different flavour profile to Averna and would alter the cocktail significantly.
How to age this cocktail
Measure out the ingredients for as many drinks as you would like to make. Do not mix with ice. Pour into a bottle and seal. Leave until ready to drink and then proceed to mix with ice as instructed.
How to Make this cocktail in advance
To make a pre-made batch for consumption within 48 hours measure out the ingredients and stir with the ice, then strain and decant into a bottle. Chill until ready to serve in tumblers half-filled with ice.
(Note: It's best to mix no more than 2-3 drinks in a jug at a time to ensure the drink is sufficiently chilled - but you can repeat the process for as many drinks as you need).


Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 4mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg