Liquor Laboratory

15 Best Amaro Nonino Substitutes That Are Just As Good (2024)

Amaro Nonino Substitute

Last Updated on March 5, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Whether you’re looking for the perfect digestif to finish an excellent dinner or want to sip a Paper Plane on a whim, spending roughly $60 doesn’t sound appealing. Amaro Nonino, an Italian liqueur, may be your best choice, but it isn’t easy to find or just too expensive to try for a few sips.  Fortunately, we have found the best alternatives to satisfy your cravings. Keep reading to discover which Amaro Nonino substitutes are worth a try.

Top 15 Amaro Nonino Substitutes

15. Amaro Tosolini

Bartender Holding Amaro Tosolini Bottle

Amaro Tosolini is one of the best substitutes for Amaro Nonino because it comes from the same Amaro category, containing 30% ABV. 

This Mediterranean herbal liqueur comprised 15 different ingredients with a rich citrusy flavor and herbs.

It’s a perfect Nonino Amaro substitute with its spicy flavor and bitter taste. 

Special Note: Although it’s perfect for drinkers who love an intense fruity flavor, it has a very dark amber color, so it may affect the appearance of your cocktail. 

And just like Nonino, this Amaro with fruity hints might also be challenging to find, so it isn’t the most accessible option for some.

14. Chinotto

2 Bottles of Lurisia Chinotto

If you want a non-alcoholic Amaro Nonino substitute, Chinotto is perfect for you.

This alternative tastes like bitter orange juice with herbal notes similar to Amaro Nonino. 

You can enjoy Chinotto as a digestif [1] or in cocktail drinks. However, since it’s a carbonated drink, it might taste differently. 

13. Fernet

Glasses and a Bottle of Fernet on Top of table

Fernet, an Italian bitter, is also one of the best substitutes for Amaro Nonino.

It’s made with herbs and spices, making it a perfect alternative to Amaro Nonino. However, this Italian bitter has a higher ABV (45%). 

We recommend being cautious when taking Fernet on the rocks because you might feel intoxicated faster. However, feel free to use this in cocktail recipes

12. Jägermeister

Hand Hodlinf Jägermeister Bottle

You might find it strange to see Jägermeister in our recommended list, but we assure you that this German herbal liqueur is closely related to Amaro Nonino. 

Aside from the fact that Jägermeister has the same 35% alcohol content as Amaro Nonino, it is also made of herbs and spices. 

Jägermeister has a syrup-like consistency, complex flavor profile, and herbal notes with strong anise and licorice flavors, making it one of the best substitutes for Amaro Nonino.

Caution: If you don’t enjoy black licorice, Jägermeister may not be for you. Its thick consistency may also make it hard to use in some cocktails.

11. Cardamaro

Man Holding Cardamaro Bottle

Cardamaro is a bitter Italian liqueur made from wine, brandy, and herbs and roots infusion.

It has a sweet, herbal flavor with hints of sour citrus, almost similar to Amaro Nonino. 

Aside from having similar prominent flavors, Cardamaro has a texture comparable to Nonino’s.

We recommend using Cardamaro like how you use Amaro Nonino in a recipe – one is to one ratio. 

However, if you want a less bitter taste, adding a simple syrup or honey to the mixture might help.

10. Vermouth

Bottle of Dolin Vermouth

Like Amaro Nonino, vermouth is also sweet, making it one of the best substitutes for Amaro Nonino. 

We recommend using dry vermouth as the perfect substitute for Amari; it’s one of the most famous bitter aperitifs [2].

It’s a more affordable option with a similar flavor to Amaro Nonino. 

It may be on the sweeter side and has a lower ABV of 18%, but vermouth is still a viable option. 

9. Chartreuse

Woman Holding Bottle of Chartreuse

Chartreuse is a French liqueur made from 130 herbs with a natural color and intense flavor. This is one of the best digestif alternatives to Amaro Nonino. 

However, Chartreuse’s color may change the cocktail’s appearance when used in cocktails. It also has a stronger alcohol content than Amaro Nonino.

A Green Chartreuse has 55% ABV, while Yellow Chartreuse has 40%.

Unlike Amaro Nonino, this liqueur has a more pungent earthy flavor profile and is less bitter.

Green Chartreuse has a slightly bitter flavor with all the herbs and spices. The best ratio for a Chartreuse is 1:4, one ounce of Chartreuse and 4 ounces of champagne.

8. Meletti Amaro

Meletti Amaro Bottle

Meletti Amaro is one of the best Amaro Nonino substitutes because it’s another digestif made with herbs and spices, sporting a bittersweet taste with hints of caramel and citrus flavors.

Meletti Amaro has 32% ABV, slightly lower than Amaro Nonino’s alcohol content, making it an excellent substitute option, especially when served on the rocks. 

Amaro Meletti has notes of bitter chocolate, with rich caramelized sugar and saffron, making it a great digestif.

7. Ramazzotti

Bottle of Ramazzotti

Ramazzotti is one of the oldest Italian liqueurs.

It’s also an Amaro, made with herbs and orange peels, so it has a bittersweet flavor, making it one of the best Amaro Nonino substitutes.

Ramazzotti contains 30% ABV, thick consistency, dark brown color, spicy notes, and floral or Mediterranean flavors. 

6. Cynar

Man Holding Bottle of Cynar

Cynar tastes similar to Amaro Nonino because of its bittersweet flavor.

It is also made with different herbs, with artichokes being its dominant ingredient. It has a thick, syrupy texture, which can be enjoyed best in cocktails. 

However, Cynar only has 17% ABV, so it’s obviously lighter than an Amaro Nonino.

The best ratio to use Cynar is 1:1:1. So, if you wish to concoct a Cynar Negroni, just mix Cynar, sweet vermouth, and gin using this ratio. 

5.  Bonal Gentaine Quina

Bottle of Bonal Gentaine Quina and a glass

Bonal Gentaine Quina may be an aperitif, but it’s still an excellent substitute for Amaro Nonino. 

Bonal Gentaine Quina’s taste is a cross between an Amari and sweet vermouth.

After a sip, you’ll taste herbs like gentian and chinchona, cherries, and plums. Quina gives its most notable bitter flavor.

This aperitif has a 16% ABV and a fortified wine [3] base, so it’s a good Amaro Nonino substitute in cocktails.

It has similar flavors to Amaro Nonino because of its intense flavors of citrus and licorice. 

However, the most significant difference with Amaro Nonino is its intense cherry flavors because an Amaro Nonino doesn’t have it.

4. Angostura Bitters

Bottle of Angostura Bitters and a Glass

The cloves and cinnamon flavors between Amaro Nonino and Angostura bitters are similar and closely related to star anise, pepper, and allspice.

Angostura Bitters are highly popular for cocktails and mixing drinks because of their high alcohol content of about 45% and very bitter flavor. 

With Angostura Bitters, you’ll only need a few drops to mix in cocktails.

They aren’t usually taken neat or on the rocks, so they aren’t perfect substitutes for an Amaro Nonino as a digestif taken by itself.

3. Amaro Montenegro

Pouring Amaro Montenegro Bottle on a JIgger

Amaro Montenegro is another Italian alcoholic beverage with a bittersweet taste, hailed from different herbs and citrus ingredients. It contains about 23% of alcohol by volume. 

You can use Montenegro in cocktails, but because of its low level of alcohol and sweet and fruity flavors, it is great to sip. 

If you’re okay with a less orange flavor, Amaro Montenegro can replace Amaro Nonino.

2. Gammel Dansk

A Hand Holding Bottle of Gammel Dansk

Gammel Dansk is made with almost 30 kinds of herbs with an amazing punch of sweetness and bitterness, making it similar to Amaro Nonino.

Aside from its taste and being an excellent digestif, it also has a similar color to Amaro Nonino.

This extremely popular Danish bitter has juniper, star anise, Seville orange, and clove flavors with licorice and peppery tastes. 

Gammel Dansk has a slightly higher ABV than Amaro Nonino, which is 38%.

1. Averna

Averna Liqueur  Bottle and a Glass

Among all the substitutes listed above, Amaro Averna is the closest to Amaro Nonino. This unique and complex liqueur is made with similar processes, and it has almost the same taste. 

Amaro Averna has a similar flavor profile with lesser bitterness than an Amaro Nonino. We recommend using it as you would use an Amaro Nonino, with a 1:1 ratio. 

Since Averna only has 29% of ABV, it’s best for sipping. It has a long finish and a slightly sweet flavor, not as pronounced as Amaro Nonino’s bitterness.

It has a thinner texture, so we suggest diluting it slightly when used as a Nonino substitute in cocktails. 

What is Amaro Nonino?

Amaro Nonino is a herbal liqueur with 35% ABV, based on Grappa, aged in barrels for up to 12 months. Giovanni Nonino created it in 1897.

This digestif is representative of the bittersweet Amaro liqueurs.

When drinking Amaro Nonino, you’ll notice notes of bitter orange, apricot, caramel, and herbal bitterness and its complex flavor profile.

What Does Amaro Nonino Taste Like?

Amaro Nonino definitely tastes exquisite and complex.

Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is most commonly used in Paper Plane cocktails, but it’s also perfect when served on ice with a slice of orange.

However, Amaro Nonino is an exclusive and expensive drink that can only be found in some stores. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a non-alcoholic substitute for Amaro Nonino?

Chinotto is a non-alcoholic substitute for Amaro Nonino. Chinotto is a carbonated drink perfect to substitute Amaro Nonino in cocktails.

What Amaro is closest to Amaro Nonino?

Amaro Averna is the closest to Amaro Nonino because it has the same flavor profile and characteristics and is slightly lighter in ABV. Amaro Averna has a strong citrus flavor and hints of caramel, like Amaro Nonino.

Are Amaro and Amaretto the same thing?

No, Amaro and Amaretto aren’t the same things, although they sound alike. Amaro is a bitter liqueur, while Amaretto is a sweet nut liqueur made with almonds. Amaro has a higher ABV (35%) than Amaretto which is only at around 21-28%. 

Is Amaro like sweet vermouth?

Italian Vermouth, in many ways, is similar to Amaro but a bit less bitter on the tongue. [4]

What can I use instead of amaro Nonino in a Paper Plane?

If you’re seeking a substitute for amaro Nonino in a Paper Plane cocktail, consider experimenting with other amari options such as Averna, Ramazzotti, or Amaro Montenegro, each bringing its unique flavor profile to complement the cocktail’s balance.

What does Nonino amaro taste like?

Nonino amaro boasts a distinctive taste characterized by a harmonious blend of bitter and sweet notes. It encompasses flavors of citrus, vanilla, and a subtle herbal complexity, providing a well-rounded and nuanced palate experience that contributes depth to cocktails like the Paper Plane.

What is the best amaro for a Paper Plane?

While personal preferences vary, some amari work exceptionally well in a Paper Plane cocktail. Nonino amaro, with its balanced bitterness and complex flavor profile, is a popular choice.

Alternatively, Amaro Montenegro, Averna, or Ramazzotti can also be excellent options, imparting unique nuances that enhance the overall taste of the cocktail.

Is amaro the same as Campari?

While both amaro and Campari fall under the category of Italian bitter liqueurs, they have distinct characteristics.

Campari is a specific brand of bright red bitter liqueur with a pronounced citrus and herbal profile, while “amaro” is a more general term encompassing a wide range of Italian herbal liqueurs, each with its unique recipe and flavor profile.

Amari often exhibit a broader spectrum of flavors, including herbal, spicy, and sweet notes, making them versatile for various cocktails.

What are alternatives to Paper Plane cocktails?

If you’re looking to explore alternatives to the Paper Plane cocktail, there are several enticing options.

Consider classics like the Negroni, featuring gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, or the Boulevardier, which substitutes bourbon for gin in the Negroni recipe. Another option is the Last Word, a gin-based cocktail with equal parts Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur, and lime juice.

For those seeking a whiskey-based alternative, the Gold Rush, made with bourbon, honey syrup, and lemon juice, provides a refreshing and flavorful choice.

Experimenting with different cocktail recipes allows you to discover new favorites tailored to your taste preferences.

In A Nutshell

Italian Amaro Nonino or other Amaro liqueurs may be difficult to find, but you can easily get alternative Amaro liqueurs to make that cocktail you’ve wanted to taste. 

If you want an alcohol-free alternative, we suggest getting a Chinotto.

You can get Cynar, Amaro Montenegro, or Aperol if you want a lighter drink. However, if you want a more potent punch, you can try Angostura Bitters, Chartreuse, or Fernet. 

For the same alcohol content, go for Jägermeister. If you wish to use it in cocktails, go for Amaro Tosolini or Amaro Averna. 

However, if color is important to you, we suggest avoiding Gammel Dansk, Tosolini, or Chinotto. 


  1. What Is a Digestif?
  2. What Is an Apéritif?
  3. An Exhaustive Guide to Fortified Wines
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