Liqueurs, bitters, herb-infused digestifs. How to figure them out. Like many countries rich in Old World traditions (not to mention a plethora of Medieval cloisters), Italy has produced its share of these late-night drinks. Some are used to ease the passage of large quantities of food (ergo the name, digestif) and some are sipped merely for the enormous gustatory and olfactory pleasures they bring.
Among the Italian liqueurs that slake the thirst of the world's epicures are Amaretto (almond); Amaro (sometimes made as a bitter); Anisette or Sambuca (considered together since they are both based on the anise flavoring); Nocello (walnut or hazelnut); Tuaca (vanilla and citrus); Frangelico, Galliano and Strega (all herb-infused); and Limoncello (the delicious lemon-flavored concoction that is nearly as romantic as the sunsets over the Amalfi coast, where the drink could almost be considered a dietary supplement).