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Popular Italian digestifs and liqueurs include the grappa, amaro and amaretto, centerba, strega, genepi and sambuca, just to name of few. Italian liqueurs are prepared by infusing neutral spirits with sugar, herbs, spices, or fruit and flavoring agents.

Alchermes: an intensely scarlet red-colored Italian liqueur that was very popular in Firenze at the time of the Medici. It is made of sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, maces, coriander, anise flowers, orange zest and vanilla, and other herbs.  Its  scarlet color is obtained by the addition of cochineals. The term derives from the word alquermes, from the arabic al-qirmiz, meaning 'scarlet'.

Amaretto di Sassello is an Italian sweet liqueur from Sassello in the province of Savona, Liguria. It is made from a base of various aromas and caramel, which gives it its typical color. The name is a diminutive of the Italian amaro, meaning "bitter," indicating the distinctive flavor.
Italian Liquors, Digestives, Amari
and Liqueurs


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Italy > Italian cuisine > Italian foods and drinks > Italian drinks and liquors > Italian liquors and amari
Amaro is a variety of Italian herbal liqueur, commonly drunk as an after-dinner digestif. Most amari are bitter and sweet, sometimes syrupy, although there are also dry amari, such as the Amaro Averna, produced in Sicily. Amari are typically produced by macerating different aromas, such as herbs, roots, flowers, bark, and spices in alcohol, blended with sugar syrup, and allowing the mixture to age in barrels or bottles. They generally have an alcohol content between 27% and 42%.

Centerbe or Centerba, translated as "one hundred herbs", is a traditional Italian liqueur with a characteristic emerald green color made of digestive and medicinal herbs found on the Monte Morrone, Majella, Gran Sasso mountains, part of the Apennines. It is very common in Abruzzo, where it was originally known as cianterba. It is ususally drunk neat (undiluted), despite its 70% content of alcohol, or used to lace a coffee, milk or chocolate drink.

Disaronno is a brand of Italian liqueur is an infusion of apricot kernel essential oil flavored with seventeen selected herbs and fruits. It is based on an original, secret recipe dating back to the year 1525. Despite its characteristic bittersweet almond taste the product does not contain any almonds or other nuts. Its production remains in Saronno, but the product is sold worldwide.
The product was previously known as "Amaretto di Saronno" (Amaretto from Saronno) before it was changed to the current name "Disaronno Originale", for marketing reasons.

Disaronno Amaretto can be served neat, on the rocks, or with mixers such as cranberry or orange juice, as well as in coffee. It is found in a wide variety of cocktail recipes, too. It is also a key ingredient dessert recipes such as Tiramisu, chocolate mousse or fruitcakes. Alternatively you can drizzle Disaronno over vanilla ice cream for a simple yet stunning dessert.

Frangelico is a traditional hazelnut liqueur - enjoyed neat, over ice, with coffee or in a wide variety of stylish cocktails.

Fragolino, a strawberry liqueur.

Frangelico is a brand of hazelnut liqueur made of local Piedmont hazelnuts infused in a solution of alcohol and water, part of which is distilled and later added to the infusion, blended with natural extracts such as cocoa and vanilla are added.

Frangelico is consumed neat, over ice, with coffee or as an ingredient in a great number of cocktails.

Grappa is a liquor made from fermented peels, seeds and stems of grapes. It has a high alcoholic percentage and is transparent as water. It can be found natural or with various flavors (pears, prunes, and herbs).

Genepi is a liquor produced in the Alps and the Aoste Valley

Limoncello is a strong lemon liqueur produced in Southern Italy, originally in the region around the Gulf of Naples. It is made from lemon zest, alcohol, water, and sugar. It is bright yellow in color, sweet and lemony, but not sour since it contains no lemon juice. It can turn out bitter if the lemon rinds were peeled to grossly. Limoncello is traditionally served chilled as an after dinner digestivo. The best limoncello is made with the lemons of Amalfi.

Maraschino, an Italian cherry liquor

Mirto is a bitter Sardinian liqueur, obtained from the myrtle plant (Mirtus Communis) through the alcoholic maceration of the berries or the green leaves. Two varieties of mirto exist: Mirto rosso (red), the most popular one, which is made with the berries and is sweet, and Mirto bianco (white), which is obtained from the leaves. As Mirto always is served very chilled, it is usually kept in the freezer for ideal serving temperature. Therefore, the bottling process is very important and the bottle is made of thick glass capable of withstanding very low temperatures.

Nocino or Nocello is a dark-colored walnut- and hazelnut-flavored liqueur from Modena, Emilia-Romagna. Nocello is similar in taste to Frangelico, with a sweet, rounded and balanced walnut flavour with vanilla tones.




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Italian wines
Italian Craft Beers
Major red and white wines of Italy
Italian dessert wines
Popular foods of Italy
Italian gourmet foods and delicacies
Italian cuisine
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Sambuca is an Italian anise-flavoured liqueur, produced from the infusion of witch elder bush and licorice, sweetened with sugar and enhanced with a combination of herbs and spices. White Sambuca is the traditional and generally more popular variety, with a mellower licorice taste and lighter colored body than that of black sambuca, which is deep blue in color or red sambuca which is bright red.

Strega is a yellow, sweet liqueur with a slight after taste of anice. It contains aromatic herbs, sugar and safran.