In the spirit world where innovative products prevail, a new liquid is set to revive an Italian aperitivo that dates back to the 15th century.
Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto is the creation of leading authority in Italian spirits, Giuseppe Gallo, crafted from a recipe that dates back to the late 1800s.
Rosolio (“the dew of the sun”) was the original Italian aperitivo once enjoyed by the King of Savoia and served during royal parties. It became so popular that each of Italy’s regions had their own variations hence becoming “the aperitivo of the people”. Rosolio was subsequently banned by King Vittorio Amedeo III in early 19th century in favour of vermouth and the category came to a halt.
Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto (20% ABV) is made in Moncalieri, Torino, at a family-owned distillery that dates back to 1906. Bergamot from the Calabrian region and cedro from Sicily are infused in cold water to release their essential oils – a process called Sfumatura – prior to being blended with Italian neutral grain spirit. This infusion-spirit is then blended with a maceration of Roman chamomile from Lazio, lavender, gentian, yellow roses and melissa balm from Northern Italy.
The bergamot fruit is at the heart of Italicus. Delicately perfumed, it has gentle aromas of citrus and floral notes with a hint of lavender. The first sip is somewhat reminiscent of orange blossom water. It then develops on the front palate into a little sweetness which dissipates into floral notes married with citrus and finishes in a gentle bitterness on the back palate. The finish is complex, long and ever so elegant and balanced.
Italicus is designed to be used with sparkling wine and white spirits to retain its delicate flavour. The recommended serve is with Prosecco over ice, in a 1:1 ratio, garnished with three green olives and presented in a large wine glass.
The bottle design pays homage to to Italy’s history and heritage. The colour of the glass is inspired by the Grotta Azzura in Capri and the clear waters of the Amalfi Coast. The stopper features a renaissance style Bacchus harvesting bergamot framed by the outline of a bergamot fruit while the black and white surround colouring of the cap evokes Italian gothic architecture. The logo on top of the stopper portrays Bacchus posed like Leonardo da Vinci’s Virtuvian man harvesting local bergamot.
Italicus is available in selected on-trade accounts across the UK and through Speciality Drinks at a RRP of £40.00. While it is not yet available in Australia, this writer has been privy to a tasting.
Photo Credit – Supplied