Fernet Branca Liqueur
The health-enhancing properties make this the favored "digestivo" at tables across the world. Traditionally served straight up at the end of a meal, it aids in digestion and cleanses the palate. It can also be used to spike espresso to make the famous caffè corretto, spiked coffee.
This amaro seems innocuous at first, with its coffee-brown hue and mild, root-like aroma. But it's intensely bitter from the first sip-so much so that it's hard to detect other flavors, though there's a bitter espresso and unsweetened chocolate core, plus a minty finish. Bartenders love to offer this uber-bitter liqueur as a shock-value shot; it's challenging to sip straight, even though the alcohol level is moderate. But it's also a key component of some classic drinks, like the Hanky Panky, and that's where its value lies.