Luxardo Aperitivo (750ml)
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Luxardo is a family-owned company founded in Zara, a port city on the Dalmatian coast of what is now Croatia. Girolamo Luxardo, a Genovese businessman, and his wife, Maria Canevari, moved to Zara in 1817. It was Maria who began perfecting “rosolio maraschino,” a liqueur produced in Dalmatian convents since medieval times from special maraschino cherries. In 1913, Michelangelo Luxardo built the most modern and massive distillery in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but it was destroyed in World War II by Anglo-American bombings. Only one member of the fourth generation, Giorgio Luxardo, survived the World War II invasion and fled to Italy. Escaping with only a cherry sapling, Giorgio crossed the Adriatic Sea to the Veneto region of northeast Italy and reconnected with a colleague who had saved the Luxardo recipe book. Armed with the surviving tools and a desire to reestablish his family’s legacy, Giorgio chose the small Veneto city of Torreglia to rebuild the distillery in 1946. At this new home, Luxardo restored its extensive product line of Italian liqueurs and continued to export the products to markets around the world. Luxardo continues to produce Maraschino to Maria Canevari’s original recipe, as it was written down in 1821. Today, Luxardo is operated by Franco Luxardo of the family’s fifth generation, along with members of the sixth.
Flavours of bittersweet orange, gentian root, rhubarb and some ripe strawberry with a balanced bitter sweet palate. Enjoy it with equal parts soda water and a squeeze of lime or add to your glass of Prosecco for added punch.
Though the Luxardo name is synonymous with maraschino liqueur. Luxardo recently started concocting a lighter spirit to be enjoyed pre-dinner. It’s aperitivo is made by infusing botanicals into a neutral spirit base. It is a wonderful alternative to some of the beloved Italian aperitivi like Campari or Aperol.
Slightly bitter citrus flavours of grapefruit and orange are balanced nicely with rhubarb and gentian root for the ultimate accompaniment to any sunny patio.
For a classic spritz, top an ounce or two of Aperitivo with club soda and/or sparkling wine over ice.
For a Paper Plane (a favourite of mine), combine equal parts Aperitivo, lemon juice, bourbon, and Amaro in a shaker, shake until cold, and serve in a coupe glass with a citrus peel to garnish. Cheers!