Drink of the Week: Brucato Chaparral Amaro - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Drink of the Week: Brucato Chaparral Amaro

For summertime imbibing, I love the Piña Verde and Chartreuse Swizzle. The green Chartreuse gives pineapple juice an incredible, herbaceous glow-up. But then I read the concerning news stories about a “Chartreuse shortage.” Fortunately, bartender Marco Dionysos, the creator of the Chartreuse Swizzle, cleared things up on last week’s Radio Imbibe episode. The Carthusian monks aren’t stopping the production of Chartreuse. They’re simply not increasing production to meet the growing demand. But the news did get me thinking about finding Chartreuse alternatives. That’s when a bottle of Brucato Chaparral Amaro showed up on my doorstep, along with its sister bottles, Orchards and Woodlands.

The three herbal-infused liqueurs by Sierra and James Clark (a former NYU professor and a former financing and capital markets specialist, respectively) celebrate California terroir. All three featured distinct flavors; Orchards is likened to Campari while Woodlands could stand in for Averna. But it was the herbaceous Brucato Chaparral, which won a Double Gold in both the 2021 and 2022 San Francisco Spirits Competition and 2023 Bartender Spirits Awards’ Liqueur of the Year, that stopped me in my tracks.

The liqueur’s dominant ingredients are California herbs yerba santa, spearmint, and cardamom, which evoke the aromatic manzanita, sagebrush, and scrub oak that blanket the coastal mountains and foothills. Their warming, herbaceous flavors with a long mint and anise finish have inspired bartenders at award-winning cocktail spots such as Death & Co, San Francisco’s Trick Dog, and LA’s Here’s Looking at You to create new summer cocktails. I sampled it in a Last Word, and even though its flavors didn’t punch through in quite the same way as the green Chartreuse, it made for a seriously tasty cocktail, and made me eager to experiment further. $36.50, bittersandbottles.com

Enjoy This Article?

Sign up for our newsletter and get biweekly recipes and articles delivered to your inbox.

Send this to a friend