Amaro Bilaro: Batch No. 1

After years of recipe testing, herb trials, spreadsheets, brainstorming, and many sleepless nights, we've embarked on Batch No. 1 of our first amaro!  But first, let me back up and tell you a little something about us.

Bilaro is a mashup of our last names, Bickford & LaRossa.  Amaro has been in Patrick's DNA for a very long time, long before we met up on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center at Windows on the World, where I was a sommelier. Wine was the center of our lives back them, but amaro was always in the background, it's bitter loveliness calling to us.  

Patrick loves sharing his passion for amaro with friends; there have been many late nights in our kitchens sharing amari till the wee hours.  In the days before liquids were banned on airplanes, Patrick filled a wine bag with amari after wine trips throughout Italy to bring back home. At one count, we had over 40 different bottles of amaro on the bar in our one bedroom apartment in NYC!

We had an amaro bar at our wedding.  Because one amaro wasn't enough.


Patrick and Susan in Riddle Vineyard, outside the town of Occidental


Fast forward about a decade, as we moved west to a different life, settling in Sebastopol, in west Sonoma County.  Sebastopol is in "west county," a unique place close to the Pacific Ocean that is filled with creative folk who embody a "can-do" spirit.  A mutual friend connected us to Travis Smith, who runs his beautiful copper pot still in Sebastopol at Spiritsmith. Travis is creative and energetic, a kind soul whose guidance helped shepherd us through the difficult months of starting up our brand.

Travis Smith

The still at Spiritsmith

And so we kicked off Batch No. 1 in early January, using premium grape spirit (no grain spirit) and macerating 13 herbs, spices and botanicals for several weeks.  We harvested rosemary from our home garden, and used as many local products as possible (there are some herbs that can never be sourced locally, unfortunately).  

Our love for all things bitter and vinous are happily married in Bilaro.  Our mission is to share the bitter love with friends old and new.  We are so excited for the future, and hope you come along for the ride!