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Archive for March, 2016


Trac

Saison’s in Season

The term “farmhouse ale” can invoke romantic visions of a beautiful countryside, animals grazing along a country road, or rustic wooden tables where you sit drinking your beer with a hearty stew and crusty bread. Romantic, yes, but that’s pretty much where saisons got their start.

logsdon-farmhouse-ales-533x400Farmhouse ales have their roots in the farmland once known as Flanders, a region that currently stretches right along the border of Belgium and France. Before the Industrial Revolution, agriculture in the area attracted many seasonal workers, better known as saisonniers. Although the crops being harvested were intended for sale, the ales brewed at the farmhouse were not. Farmer-brewers made these beers to be consumed by the laborers, not unlike the ‘family meal’ modern day restaurant owners provide for their staff. In fact, a certain allotment of daily beer was often part of the saisonniers’ entitled pay.

Nowadays, seasonal beers can feel like a marketing ploy, but before refrigeration they were a necessity: brewing conditions and temperatures were only optimal for a short period of time when temperatures were cool enough to prevent spoilage. Beers brewed in cooler months were stored for drinking the rest of the year; they had to be robust enough to last through months of storage (even in hot weather), yet still bright and refreshing enough to quench the thirst of tired farm workers.

These farmhouse ales are also known as saisons, which is French for “seasons.” Classic saisons tend to have distinct hop flavors with bright, fruity aromas, a smack of tartness, and a crisp dry finish. Saisons are very similar to wine in that they manage to be complex and full-flavored, yet delicate and refreshing, which means they are some of the best food partners in the world of beer. The herbal hop flavors, the bready malt, and the fruity, tart qualities created during fermentation each latch onto food and make your meal taste better.

While not located in remote farmhouse settings, many American craft brewers have also taken up the style, and are experimenting with riffs that include funky Brettanomyces and new flavor additions. Savor the season and try some saisons this spring:

DupontleForetBrasserie Dupont Le Forêt | $11.99/750mL
Saison Dupont might be the saison gold standard but we love the Forêt, the brewery’s organic, slightly stronger version. Aromas of blood orange and cinnamon with flavors of vanilla malt, black plumbs and lemon tang. This brewery is credited with saving the saison style when it was near extinction and makes us extremely thankful for that.

PigeonelleBrasseriede la  Pigeonnelle Loirette | $9.99/750mL
The Harddouin brothers started off as beer distributors in Paris, and after years of working with the likes of Cantillon and Dupont, they decided to start making it on their own. They moved into a family property in Touraine and developed a deep love of the beers of Belgium, from the heavily sour styles to the lighter farmhouse ales. They only work with organic ingredients and Loirette is their first beer.  It’s refreshing, creamy, with flavors of bread and white pepper.

PerennailPerennial Artisan Ales Saison de Lis | $10.99/750mL
One of our favorite domestic breweries, Perennial Artisan Ales focuses on using local, seasonal, and organic ingredients in making their ales. Located in St. Louis, their beers are influenced by Belgian farmhouse ales.  Their Saison de Lis is brewed with local chamomile flowers and fermented with a traditional saison yeast strain that imparts fruity and spicy notes. The chamomile adds a tea-like quality that finishes dry, tart, and refreshing.


Raph

The Incredible, Responsible Egg

With spring arriving at the Markets in the form of local strawberries, beautiful asparagus, and tasty artichokes, it’s easy to forget that products like eggs have a season too! As the days grow longer and lighter, birds begin to lay their eggs in spring. Perhaps this is why we see eggs appear in spring celebrations and holidays, with eggs symbolizing renewal and rebirth. Today, our industrial food system has largely eliminated the seasonality of eggs, keeping birds indoors under artificial light so they continue to lay year round.

At Bi-Rite, we want to offer our guests a range of responsibly-sourced eggs from humanely-raised and treated animals. Our eggs are never sourced from birds that are subject to forced-molting (the practice of artificially provoking a complete flock of hens to molt simultaneously to stimulate production) or wing clipping. Likewise, all of our eggs are cage-free and free of hormones, antibiotics, and other additives. Whether you like your eggs hard-boiled, fried, or scrambled, reference our egg chart when shopping at our Markets so you too can understand the incredible, responsible egg:

eggcellentchart _18th


Shakirah

Help us end food waste! Support AB2725

IMG_5874Today, Bi-Rite Divisadero hosted Assemblymember David Chiu as he announced new legislation, AB2725, aimed at reducing food waste by creating statewide guidelines for food date labels that relate directly to freshness and safety.

Chiu was joined by members of Californians Against Waste, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and our founder, Sam Mogannam, to describe the confusing state of date labels today (various forms include “sell by,” “use by,” “best before,” and “enjoy by”), none of which are federally regulated.

Sam described the importance of this legislation to fight food waste, stating, “Creating community through food means not wasting it, which is at the core of our company values and daily operations. Grocers have a tremendous social responsibility to reduce food waste due to the sheer amount of food that moves through our businesses. We are the direct connection to two ends of the food waste spectrum – producers and consumers. Food manufacturers and retailers cannot afford to waste food; treating food waste as the cost of doing business will cost you your business.”

At Bi-Rite, less than 1% of the food we purchase is wasted, and 40% of the product in our Markets is house-made and accurately date labeled.

BiRiteFoodWasteFactSheet_AB2725

“In a state where 6 million families are food insecure, a startling amount of food is being wasted every single day because of these arbitrary date labels,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “We as consumers want to know what our labels mean and whether or not our food is safe to eat. This bill will clean up these confusing dates and reduce unnecessary food waste.”

Read more about food waste and Assemblymember Chiu’s legislation from the SF Chronicle, or stop by the Markets and ask what you can do to help fight food waste.


Waverley

Fill Your Easter Basket with Good Food

Fill your Easter basket with Good Food! The Bi-Rite Family has prepared an Easter feast perfect for an al fresco brunch or a pull-out-all-the-stops Sunday dinner. With traditional lamb roasts from our butchers, beautiful local produce from our farmers, light and refreshing house-made dishes from our chefs, and desserts from Bi-Rite Creamery that range from the traditional to the simply seasonal, we’re here to help you craft the perfect Easter meal for your family and friends.

From our Butchers

SpringLambOur butchers are bringing you some of the highest quality, sustainably-raised and harvested products for your Easter table, including the limited availability Don Watson Milk-Fed Spring Lamb (starting at $12.99/lb), with exceptionally tender texture and incredibly mild flavor. Our butchers are receiving whole lambs and butchering to order, so be sure to pre-order your preferred cuts today! A fantastic option for those seeking a twist on tradition, our Butcher’s Cut Spring Lamb Roast Recipe is sure to be a showstopper for your guests.

For those looking for classic lamb flavors and the larger-size leg, we’re pleased to offer BN Ranch Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Lamb (starting at $9.99/lb) from the Sacramento Delta, also available for convenient delivery from our online Market. Read more about what makes these lamb programs so special on our blog. If lamb isn’t your jam, we’re also featuring a selection of hams from Rancho Llano Seco, Niman Ranch, and Fra’Mani, also available from our online Market.

From our Chefs

Our chefs have prepared a beautiful house-made menu for your Easter celebrations, showcasing refreshing spring flavors like Grilled Local Artichokes with White Beans & Hikari Farms Greens ($13.99/lb) and Grilled Wild Alaskan Coho Salmon with Lemony Spring Pea Hummus & Shaved Radish ($11.99/ea). Perfect for brunch in the park or a fine Easter dinner, our house-made Easter menu will be available in the Markets and on Instacart March 25 through March 27.  If you’d like to pre-order your Easter feast, just give us a call, click here to view the menu!

From our Creamery & Bakeshop

FINALHotCrossandTeaThe Creamery is featuring some beautiful spring desserts for Easter, including the traditional Hot Cross Buns: sweet, yeasted buns baked with lemon, orange, and golden raising, topped with vanilla buttercream ($7.99/4-pack).  Venture beyond the classics with our Lemon Chiffon Cake with Citrus Glaze ($9.99/ea) or our Citrus Yogurt Panna Cotta, a Greek yogurt panna cotta with a layer of caramel, topped with candied kumquats ($5.99/ea). All Creamery & Bakeshop desserts will be available with the Easter menu, in the Markets and on Instacart. Visit the Creamery or Scoop Shop for our seasonal sundae, the Easter Bonnet featuring our seasonal Meyer Lemon ice cream with gingersnap cookie pieces, caramel sauce and whipped cream (available now until Easter Sunday).

From our Grocery team

FINALColombaChocolate bunnies abound! Our Grocery team has selected some of their favorite Easter treats to fill your baskets, like the Poco Dolce Olive Oil Rabbit ($12.99) and the Chocolat Moderne Brown Speckled Egg ($12.99), as beautiful as they are delicious. Don’t forget the Fiasconaro Colomba di Pasqua ($24.99)! Like Christmas panettone, this leavened cake is fashioned into the shape of a dove and filled with fresh candied orange, topped with Avola almond icing – extremely limited, it makes for a very special Easter dessert.  Plus, it wouldn’t be Easter without egg dying: we have a fantastic selection of pasture-raised eggs in both Markets and Color Kitchen’s Natural Egg Coloring Kit ($11.99) to dye them with!

From our Floral team

large_9acaf726-f303-4a6e-9f4c-f3c30b79f4acSpring is the season for local, farm direct, organic flowers from some of our favorite farmers like Full Belly Farm, Fifth Crow Farm, and Front Porch Farm. Just in time for Easter, Full Belly Farm is bringing back their gorgeous mixed farm bouquets. Look our for organic Ranunculus and Poppies from Front Porch Farm too.  Or, let our floral team create a unique bouquet for your Easter Sunday – we are featuring our Bi-Rite Mixed Bouquet ($24.99) plus our florists will be in front of the Markets 9am-6pm March 26 and 27, making floral happiness one bouquet at a time.

From our Wine & Cheese teams

Round out your Easter meal with the lovely Raventos Blanc de Nit Rose Cava ($24.99), perfect for brunch or dinner.  Pair it with a simple cheese selection, great for spring salads or as a light cheese course, including Marin French Petite Breakfast ($5.99) and Andante Dairy Fresh Chevre ($7.99).

Easter16_web2

Whatever your Easter needs, we’re here to help you create a memorable meal for your family and friends. Short on time? Shop online! Our online Easter aisle allows you to build your Easter meal and have it delivered to your door!


Chili

Think Spring Lamb

Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal, and refreshment. The flavors of spring are a vibrant reminder of the harvests to come and the reward for a long winter’s wait.  In California, spring is very special to our Butcher Department as the harbinger of one of our favorite products, spring lamb.  This year in particularly, El Nino rains have given way to lush grasses, meaning the lambs will be at their tastiest – this is the season to think spring lamb!

If you celebrate spring holidays like Easter or Passover with lamb as your centerpiece, or you enjoy eating with the seasons, now is the peak season for the highest quality, best tasting lamb available:

SacDeltaBNRanchLambFor the traditionalists, our BN Ranch Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Lamb have the bolder, fuller flavor and larger legs typically associated with lamb.  Raised by a fourth generation sheep herder, John Cubiburu, in the Sacramento Delta, the BN Ranch lambs are weaned then graze on pasture in order to reach their larger weight.  These special lambs will be available in the Markets and on Instacart where you can order from our online Market for convenient delivery.

watson2For those seeking something excitingly off-beat and extremely limited, we are thrilled to announce that Don Watson Milk-Fed Spring Lamb is now available at our butcher counters. Born in the winter and harvested right before they’re weaned, Don Watson’s lambs are much smaller than your typical lambs, with an incredibly mild flavor and tender texture.  Don Watson’s Milk-Fed Spring Lambs grace the tables of restaurants like Chez Panisse and The French Laundry, and due their limited availability (typically only for the four weeks of April), are available for pre-order at the Markets.  These lambs arrive whole, and our butchers will be cutting to order for you. Fun fact:  Don Watson’s Napa Valley-based herd lives on the grounds of the Infineon Raceway, and from there are hired by many neighboring wineries to help keep their vineyards free of weeds without doing the damage to the terroir that mechanical weeders would do!

SpringLambSideIf you’re considering a lamb roast for beautiful spring meals, our butchers are turning tradition on its head with their Spring Lamb Roast recipe. Using the butcher’s cut front leg of Don Watson’s Milk-Fed Spring Lamb achieves an incredibly tender, mildly-flavored roast that pairs perfectly with an array of spring side dishes, from asparagus salads to artichokes to strawberry desserts and spring Rosés.

So whether you prefer the longstanding tradition of exceptional quality BN Ranch Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed Lamb, or are looking to elevate your spring celebrations with a rare twist on the classic with Don Watson Milk-Fed Spring Lamb, now is the time to think spring lamb and enjoy it at its seasonal best.


Trac

Rosé City, Population: You.

RoseCity_webNow the rains have subsided and clearer skies are up ahead, we can finally talk about the 2015 Rosé that is starting to arrive at the Markets. The combination of hot weather and the ongoing drought last year has finally reached our California vineyards.  Last year’s yields were really low, thus, winemakers didn’t have a lot of grapes to work with. The majority of the yields went to making red wine production and what little they had left went to making Rosé. The smaller crop results in a limited quantity of Rosé from some of our favorite producers like Arnot-Roberts, A Tribute to Grace, and Unti.

RoseCityThe good news, however, is that we have the opportunity to offer new producers that we love when some of our old favorites sell out, so keep an eye throughout the spring and summer for exciting new Rosé producers from Oregon, France, Italy, and Spain. Also, despite the small crop, the quality of the grapes was excellent and the Rosé we’ve tasted have all been stellar! Our motto this year? Savor (and stock up on) your favorites, and make room in your cellar for someone new. Here are a few we’re currently sipping:

Tatomer Rosé Edna Valley, CA 2015 | $29.99
Graham Tatomer is known for making amazing Gruner Veltliner and Riesling down in Santa Barbara, but has recently gotten hold of some amazing Pinot Noir grapes and produced stunning red from it. However, his Pinot Noir Rosé should not be overlooked. Picked for Rosé and pressed off the skins, the Tatomer Rosé is fresh and lively with floral aromas and watermelon fruit notes. Completely dry, this is one Rosé I can drink all day. Get this soon as we have a limited supply of it.

Upwell California Rosé Lodi, CA 2015 | $16.99
Upwell is a side project of Sam Sheehan, the winemaker for Poe Wines, one of our favorite wineries. While she does make a Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier blend under her own label, Upwell is an exclusive Rosé she made exclusively for us in California. Made from old vine Grenache, this lovely wine has aromas of flowers and spices with a dry, mineral finish.

Arnot-Roberts Rosé Clear Lake, CA 2015 | $27.99
We got a tiny, tiny amount of this sought-after Rosé from Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts. While we would love to pop this wine open right now and drink it, Arnot-Roberts Rosé actually shows best a year later. Made from Touriga Nacional, the principal grape of Port, this wine displays aromas of melon and blood orange with brisk acidity and freshness.


Jason Rose

Corned Beef Essentials for St. Paddy’s Day

StPattysDay_2016-14Perfect your corned beef on March 17! Whether it’s corned beef hash, a Reuben sandwich, or the classic corned beef and cabbage dinner, we have everything you need.
StPattysDay_2016-15Our House-Made St. Paddy’s Day Menu will be available in both Markets and on Instacart from March 14 to March 17, featuring slow-cooked BN Ranch Grass-Fed Corned Beef, traditional sides and seasonal dishes. Looking to pre-order? Just call the Markets and we’ll be happy to assist you.

FINALCornedBeef

BN Ranch Grass-Fed Corned Beef

StPattysDay_2016-15Cook your own BN Ranch Grass-Fed Corned Beef ($8.99/lb). The BN Ranch team uses beef round for a leaner, meatier take on the classic. For all of your ingredients, fromGuinness to cabbage and potatoes, delivered to your door, shop our online St. Paddy’s Day aisle.

StPattysDay_2016-15Get lucky with our celebrated Reuben Sandwich at both Markets! Thinly-sliced BN Ranch Grass-Fed Corned Beef with Bubbies Sauerkraut, Swiss, and Thousand Island on rye, now available in our delis.

StPattysDay_2016-15All beef and no play? Bi-Rite Creamery has created a new, Bailey’s-inspired ice cream flavor: Boozy Irish Cream with Chocolate Cake, available in pints and scoops. Or, visit the Creamery to try it in our Boozy Irish Cream Sundae with graham crackers, caramel sauce, whipped cream and green sprinkles!


Jason Rose

New Bi-Rite Sushi Bowls are here!

Sushi-Sticker-04Our House-Made Sushi line is expanding to include even more on-the-go meal options, made with the same locally-grown, great tasting produce with ethically-raised and harvested meats and seafood you know and trust. Founder Sam Mogannam and Culinary Director Jason Rose recently returned from a visit to Tokyo, Osaka, Sakai City, and Nara, Japan, and brought back with them techniques, preparations, and flavor inspirations that will be infusing our kitchens across the Family of Businesses.

FINALThreeBowls

Our three new sushi bowls begin with Lundberg Family Farms Organic California Sushi Rice seasoned lightly with togarashi and rice wine vinegar, topped with certified organic,  non-GMO edamame, pickled ginger from The Ginger People, green onions, and pickled carrot, and your choice of Miso-Braised Hodo Soy Tofu ($11.99), Teriyaki Chicken ($12.99), or Seared Ahi Tuna ($14.99). In addition, we’re offering a palate-cleansing Sunomono Salad ($6.99) featuring local Hikari Farms Japanese cucumbers and wakame with soy, mirin, and sesame.

Sushi bowls for dinner? Pair them perfectly with Sequoia Sake! Locally produced in San Francisco using the ancient art of Japanese sake making combined with Bay Area yeasts and California rice has created a new tradition of rich, new American micro-sake.

 


Shakirah

Celebrating Women in Food: Layla of Bi-Rite Farms

We’re celebrating women in food this March for women’s history month. Woman-operated farms more than doubled between 1982 and 2007. According to the USDA, about 14% of farms in the U.S. are run by women today, and women make up 30% of all U.S. farmers.

At Bi-Rite, we support a diverse community of farmers and farm workers, including our very own farmer, Layla Aguilar! Read on to learn more about Layla’s life on the farm, how she got her start, and her fav veggies.

LaylaWhat is your role at Bi-Rite Farm? What does a normal day look like?
My day can look a number of different ways! It ranges from being out in the fields from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM in the summer, to pouring over seed catalogues and meeting with other farmers for info-sharing in the winter months. Out on the field, my tasks include seeding, weeding, harvesting, and irrigation. From June through November, I come down to San Francisco twice a week to drop off produce at the Markets.  For the past five seasons, we’ve been on one acre; this year we are expanding to three acres. This year, we’ll plant summer cover crops, perennials, hops, berries, herbs, flowers, and cucurbits such as squash, melons, and cucumbers that can roam free.

How did you get interested in food and farming? What set you on this path?
I’ve always had an interest in food. Post-college, I started working in a farm educational program for youth. After that experience, I realized I didn’t want to just teach, I wanted to learn more in-depth farm methods for food production. I enrolled in the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems program at UC Santa Cruz (CASFS). After graduation, I worked on different production and educational farms, and explored in farm marketing and sales. I started at Bi-Rite in July of 2013. It was the first time I was hired in a full vegetable production capacity.

What advice would you give to other women interested in a career in sustainable food and farming?
I’ve attended the Ecological Farming Conference every year since 2007; I have a strong community of farmers I can call on. Most of them have also completed the CASFS program. This network is super important to me. It’s especially nice to build a community of farmers close by during the winter months. It can get a little depressing when you can’t go outside – I love meeting up with a fellow farmer for a coffee and some crop planning!

BiRiteFarm_EdibleMagWhat are some of the challenges you and other farmers are currently facing, in the Bay Area (or further afield)?
Well, the big one is of course, the drought. Despite all the talk of El Nino, I’m super skeptical and distraught because I’m not sure the rains will be enough. We cannot make water, we are stuck with what we have. I can stress the plants some, but ultimately the lack of water compromises the plants’ quality and quantity. Last year I really pushed the envelope, and we felt the sting with a decrease in production. So for me, a big challenge is getting the job done well, while also being a good steward of the earth. Some specific challenges on the Bi-Rite Farm are heavy soils and salty water (we’re located close to the bay!). However, I’m learning more and more each season about how to care for the land. I’m constantly trying to educate myself and learn from the mistakes that we make.

What is your favorite vegetable?
To grow: Dry beans.

To eat: Cucumbers and peppers. They are so fun to snap right off the vine and munch on – they don’t need anything more! I also love hot peppers….I’m kind of obsessed.

How can the Bi-Rite community get involved in the farm this season? Harvest days?
We’ve organized, and would like to continue to organize, farm visits, especially for the kitchen and produce departments. Sam would say that the ultimate goal of the farm is to educate staff. The more I can get people out there, the more I am doing my job. I have a background in farm education; I love showing large groups around the farm and coming up with on-farm tasks like planting and weeding.

We host Farm School with 18 Reasons, a ten session summer course where participants visit the farm on Saturdays to learn about small scale farming. I love working with the Farm School students because sometimes they have a lot of interest but very little experience. We have to start from the very beginning – like how to hold a tool!

Read more about Bi-Rite Farm from Edible Marin & Wine Country!


Trac

An Amaro Love Affair

amaro_webherbs

“Amaro,” the word for “bitter” in Italian, is also a broad and loosely defined category of bittersweet, Italian-born, herbal spirits flavored through maceration. While consistently enjoyed in Western Europe for hundreds of years, only recently has American interest and excitement in amari (plural for amaro) been renewed. In San Francisco, one can visit places like Locanda and Trick Dog just to taste the range of amari available in the U.S. today.

One of amaro’s unique traits is that it epitomizes a true sense of terroir; the flavors of these liqueurs are defined by either the botanicals that grow in the region in which they are produced, or by ingredients heralded centuries ago for their medicinal benefits. The bitterness of amari is one of the reasons they are so versatile in cocktails. It balances quite well with sweeter spirits like rum and bourbon.

We’re excited to offer a fantastic selection of Italian amari so you can explore the terroir and history of Italian spirits. Which is your favorite? Be sure to try our new amaro cocktail recipes, created for us by Josh Harris of The Bon Vivants and Trick Dog, and experiment on your own!  Tweet us your favorite amaro cocktail!

AmaroMelettiMeletti Amaro | Marche, Italy | $19.99
Meletti is a bit astringent for an amaro; its somewhat hot and bright entry is tamed quickly by sweetness. The initial flavors are of orange zest, chocolate, and licorice. Subsequent sips show cardamom and cinnamon. In 1870, Silvio Meletti began producing a popular anise-flavored liqueur bearing his name. Years later, he added an amaro to the line. Meletti is unique in a few ways, principal among them is the addition of saffron—quite an expensive ingredient indeed.

AmaroLucanoLucano Amaro | Basilicata,  Italy | $26.99
Silky like a liqueur, both bitter and sweet in varying degrees, aromatically complex, and quite simply delicious and fascinating. A sophisticated exploration of over 30 herbs, including Roman absinthe, wormwood, clary sage, orange peel, elderberry, and aloe. Amaro Lucano’s roots go back to 1894 in the tiny village of Pisticci, of the Lucania region in the province of Matera, where Pasquale Vena created a special recipe in the backroom of his famous cookie bakery, which is still a well-kept secret today.

amaroMonetnegroMontenegro Amaro | Bologna, Italy | $29.99
This bitter is flavored with licorice root, saffron, and orange peel. Despite its light rust color, this Amaro from Bologna has rich herbal aromas that segue to deep, slightly sweet flavors and a citrusy finish. Amaro Montenegro, “The liqueur of the virtues,” was created in 1885 by distiller and herbalist, Stanislao Cobianchi. The name Montenegro is a homage to the second queen of Italy, Princess Elena Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro, on occasion of her marriage in 1896 to Victor Emmanuel III, the Itlian sovereign at the time.

AmaroVarnelliVarnelli Sibilla Amaro | Marche, Italy | $54.99
Named after the impressive mountain range in the Southwestern corner of the Marche, this spirit is a must-try for amaro fans. The flavor profile definitely leans toward the drier, more herbaceous end of the spectrum and will seem quite bitter if you are used to Averna or Montenegro. The botanicals are wood smoked before maceration which adds a degree of complexity seldom found in Amari. Mountain honey is used sparingly to balance the bitter flavors. I have found Sibillia to be a delicious digestive, but also quite delightful at the shore when mixed with tonic and an orange rind.

AmaroFernetContratto Fernet | Piedmonte, Italy | $44.99
Based on the original 1920s family recipe this traditional Fernet puts a heavy emphasis on anise, licorice, saffron, clover, and chamomile. The grappa base complements the complex floral aromas well and the layers of flavor don’t come across as too bitter or too sweet. There are so many wonderful ways to drink this old-school liqueur.

AmaroAmaraAmara Amaro d’Arancia | Sicily, Italy | $34.99
Made in Sicily from blood oranges grown near the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna, it’s a citrus-dominated liqueur with only a slight bitterness that marries well with hints of baking spice. The finish is like the purest expression of citrus peel I’ve ever tasted in a spirit, giving the Amara a versatility that is simply off the charts. You can sip it after dinner as a digestivo, add soda water to make a spritz, mix it into a Negroni, or simply pour it over ice.