Amaro Amore

Photography by Caleb Condit & Rebecca Norden.

More sweet, less bitter, amaro is here to stay.

You don’t have to be part of Kansas City’s storied speakeasy and cocktail culture to know what amaro is, but it sure helps. An Italian herbal liqueur, amaro has been around for centuries, but it became well-known when the popular Campari brand hit the market and the bartender-favorite Fernet-Branca made its debut.

A low-proof digestif, the term “amaro” is so broad that it encompasses everything from bright rhubarb-forward styles such as Aperol to rooty dark versions like Montenegro. You can even make your own amaro, something that local bartenders have been playing with for years.

Brothers Josh and Ben Edwards opened North Kansas City bar and retail shop Mitch e Amaro (306 Armour Road, North Kansas City) in 2019 to be the kind of place they were looking for. It specializes in exactly what home bartenders without access to service distributors would want. Half their customers come because they are curious; the other half come with something very specific in mind. “I would say about 20 percent of the bottles on our shelf are things people asked us to order and we decided to keep in stock,” Josh says. 

The Edwards brothers started Mitch e Amaro because they loved Kansas City craft cocktail culture. The duo would go to local spots like Swordfish Tom’s to find obscure bottles that were unavailable through retailers. “We were looking to get into the business and saw a need,” Josh says. “Kansas City has one of the best craft cocktail communities in the country. We are very happy to be a small part of it.”  

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