Farewell to the Original Amor Y Amargo
With Four Recipes From the Bar's 12-Year Reign
I wrote a fall bar preview for The New York Times this week. It was chock full of news, included information on new bars from the folks behind Dutch Kills, Rolo’s, Smith & Mills, Valerie, The Odd Couple and Maison Premiere. But the biggest piece of news, by far, was that the original East Village location of Amor y Amargo would be closing up shop at the end of the year and reopening in 2024 as a new concept called All Hands. (The newer, expanded version of Amor y Amaro, which is at the corner of Avenue A and E. 6th Street, will remain open.)
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Words like legendary, iconic, influential and trailblazing get thrown around pretty freely in the cocktail business. But Amor y Amargo, which opened in 2011, was genuinely all that. It was a showcase for bitters and amari of all types at a time when those challenging and often confusing liqueurs and spirits were just starting to win the attention of the greater American drinking public. The drinks it served featured those products, which hailed from all corners of the world, but mostly Europe. The bottles lined the shelves behind the bar, making it the most interesting-looking back bar in the city. On the shelves opposite the bar were dozens of bitters brands of the dashing sort—as well as bar equipment and books—all for sale. (Amor y Amargo was a shop as well as a bar.)