It's also the perfect substitute for Aperol in a traditional spritz.
Gordon Sumner is a 12-time Grammy Award-winning rock legend. He is better known to the world as Sting, which isn’t necessarily the most appropriate moniker considering his debut entry into the world of alcoholic beverages. The 30-proof peach-hued Italian amaro he helped launch has no bite whatsoever. It’s pretty painless on the pocketbook, too, standing on shelves at an accessible price point of just $35.
At any rate, Sting is ultimately just one of many players responsible for the new drink, known as
Amante 1530, which launched in late 2023. The nascent brand is an innovative, modern take on the classic Italian bitter category. It was conceived two years ago when Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, were sipping with a group of close friends at the couple’s historic Tuscan villa, Il Palagio.
Late in the evening, the conversation turned to what people were pouring into the glass. Each had their own preferences. Though they all agreed, what was missing was a single low-proof liquid versatile enough to be enjoyed in a spritz, in cocktails, neat, or on the rocks. Perhaps they could fill the gap themselves, they surmised. Crafting this one-size-fits-all spirit would require a talented engineer, however. Luckily, Sting and Styler knew just the person for the task: Riccardo Cotarella, the same legendary oenologist who had helped them craft their own brand of estate wines.
Cotarella spent months perfecting a proprietary recipe with a litany of undisclosed ingredients plucked from across the Italian countryside. It then all took shape at Pallini Distillery — one of Rome's oldest outposts dedicated to liquor craftsmanship. What entered the baby blue-labeled bottle was something that balances fresh grapefruit zest against a potpourri of memorable Mediterranean herbs and spices. Rosemary and sage enable a slight vegetal savoriness to counteract the sweeter, front-loaded fruit aromas. As intended, it could, in fact, substitute for Aperol in a traditional spritz or for Campari in a lighter Negroni riff.
But for Amante 1530 CEO and co-founder Ana Rosenstein, it's as much about the vibe it exudes as the preparations it informs. "In my mind, it's all about sitting around a table at sunset in the hills of Tuscany, splitting a bottle with friends and lovers alike," she explains. "It's hanging with those you love most at the end of a long ski day in the Italian Alps with a table of spritzes being the unifying factor."
Entering the more esoteric realm of amaro might seem like risky business. However, Rosenstein and her famous friends see huge value in an offering that's especially suited to aperitivo. When scrolling her TikTok feed, she estimates about one out of every 20 videos that pop up include someone talking about their latest variation of a spritz. Bright on the palate and in the body, it is both a versatile and photogenic category, making it particularly ripe for proliferation in the age of social media.
"Everyone wants to put their own twist on a cocktail when they make it or when they lean over the bar to order it with that sultry confidence," she adds. "For me, I want my Amante on the rocks with muddled cucumber, a splash of soda, and a squeeze of lime juice. No sugar, no syrup. Try it, you won't regret it. I love placing a custom order that the person next to me overhears and goes, 'Woah, I want that too.'"
We totally get it. Given that she's sipping spritzes with iconic rock stars in sprawling 16th-century Tuscan estates, the order is clear: we'll have what she's having.
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