When it comes to booze, it’s fun to be bitter: an Aperol spritz has been the drink of summer for about five years, vermouth and soda was apparently the "hot girl" drink of 2023, and amaro is having "a major moment." Bitter botanical beverages are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean we understand what on earth they are. Could you explain the difference between vermouth and amaro, or whether either is an aperitif or a digestif? Where do Aperol, Campari, and Chartreuse fit in, and what’s the difference between drinks called bitters and the bitters your bartender dashes into a Manhattan? This episode, Gastropod is on the case of the confusing bitter beverages, starting with their origins in alchemy. (That pre-dinner spritz *is* pretty magical!) Listen in now to find out why Napoleon chugged cologne, how a shopkeeper’s assistant created the preferred drink of kings and influencers, and how you should enjoy these trendy new botanical beverages.