Drink of the Week: Fast Penny Spirits Amaricano - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Drink of the Week: Fast Penny Spirits Amaricano

Ten years ago, when I relocated from the arid, high desert of northern Arizona to the verdant Pacific Northwest, I could hardly believe the sheer bounty of everything that just grows here. Similarly inspired by all that the PNW provides are area natives Jamie Hunt and Holly Robinson, co-founders of Seattle’s new Fast Penny Spirits, which launched last year. The two women set out to create an Italian-style amaro that utilizes local botanicals, from Rainier cherries to Yakima hops, and a business that supports other women in the industry. The result is the Fast Penny flagship amari duo and a 3-percent, give-back program based on bottle sales that has so far supported organizations like WA Women’s Foundation, the Independent Restaurant Coalition, and Black Girl Ventures, among others.

Both the Amaricano and the Amaricano Bianca are made with either regional ingredients or those that can be sourced from local retailers, but the Amaricano won me over with its bold and intriguing flavor profile. With a base distilled from West Coast grapes, the amaro is rich and spicy, with sweet fruit notes from dried Rainier cherries complemented by the bitterness of standard ingredients like gentian and less-standard ingredients like hops. Cocoa nibs from Theo Chocolate, Washington-grown Holmquist Hazelnuts, and black truffles from Truffle Dog Co. add richness and earthy undertones, with bright, high notes from wild-gathered rosebuds, cascara from Seattle’s Stamp Act Coffee, and Washington-grown saffron. The final spirit is as lush and inviting as the Pacific Northwest itself. $51.60, fastpennyspirits.com

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