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Amaro Nonino Quintessentia is made from grappa infused with herbs, plus grain alcohol, and ingredients that include caramelized sugar, bitter orange, cinchona, galenga, gentian, liquorice, quassia wood, rhubarb, saffron, sweet orange and tamarind.  (I don’t even know what some of those things are, but I had this as a digestif at the Chicago Firehouse this past weekend and I am ready to keep some on hand!  A nice alternative to cognac or calvados.)

Sip it slightly chilled straight-up after dinner.  Here is a Julia Cameron poem to ponder as you sip…


I wish I could take language
And fold it like cool, moist rags.
I would lay words on your forehead.
I would wrap words on your wrists.
“There, there,” my words would say—
Or something better.
I would ask them to murmur,
“Hush” and “Shh, shhh, it’s all right.”
I would ask them to hold you all night.
I wish I could take language
And daub and soothe and cool
Where fever blisters and burns,
Where fever turns yourself against you.
I wish I could take language
And heal the words that were the wounds
You have no names for.