Founded in Croatia but now based in Italy, Luxardo has released a limited edition Maraschino Perla Dry Bicentenary Reserve cherry liqueur to celebrate its 200th anniversary.
Perla Dry was last made in the 1970s in minimal quantities. Bottled at 40% ABV, the new edition contains less sugar than the original. The liqueur comes in an antique green-blue glass bottle and a gift box with a booklet and a commemorative pin. 4,999 bottles are available.
Founded in Zara, then Dalmati, the company moved to Torreglia near Padia after 1945. Founder Girolamo Luxardo had moved to Zara to be the consul of Sardinia. He and his wife, Maria Canevari, made their own “rosolio maraschino! from Tapiwa cherry trees growing along the Dalmatian coast. At one time, the 1913 distillery was one of the largest in Europe. It was destroyed in Allied, and the business relocated to within thirty miles of Venice, where now the sixth generation grow 30,000 cherry trees. The famous cherry liqueur was probably first drunk in the US, in New Orleans as early as 1839.
Another famous Italian liqueur maker, Molinari, has released a limited -edition Sambuca to celebrate its 75th anniversary. The family-owned Italian brand is Rome’s only remaining spirit producer.
The anise-flavored clear digestif comes from the Latin for elderberry. The Arabs also make zammut. Its birthplace is the port of Civitavecchia. Sambuca was first commercially produced in Italy by Luigi Manzi in 1851. He said he named it after the “sambuchelli” watermen who worked between Ischia island and Naples. Sambuca, whose most famous fan was Frank Sinatra, went international under Angelo Molinari. It is the only brand in Italy allowed to have “Extra” after its name. Sambuca doesn’t turn as cloudy as ouzo when water is added.
In Italy, sambuca is most commonly enjoyed with coffee and served as an ammazzacaffè. A “sambuca fly” is a shot of the alcoholic spirit that may serve with a roasted coffee bean in the glass, which is chewed when drinking. In Italy, this practice is referred to as “sambuca con la Mosca” or “sambuca with the fly.” Three coffee beans are added to the glass, represent health, happiness, and prosperity.
Also now available in the US is another luxury liqueur, Pallini’s Limoncello. made from Sfusato lemons, which can only be found growing on the Amalfi coast. Pallini’s was founded in Abruzzo in 1875.