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Simple Guide to Liquors in Southern Italy

Strega Simple Guide to Liquors in Southern ItalyIn Italy, “si mangia bene” (you eat well) and it is very common for Italians to conclude their meals with an after dinner drink. However, this can be overwhelming for those who are not well-versed in Italian liquors.

What exactly are Italian liquors? Well, they are alcohols infused with herbs or other aromas typically served after a meal as a “digestivo” (digestive) or as an “ammazzacaffè” (coffee killer) after coffee to “kill” its taste.

Here is our simple guide to Southern Italy liquors to help you get the most out of your Italian dining experience by doing as the Italians do and choosing the perfect post-meal drink.

Campania

Vecchio Amaro Simple Guide to Liquors in Southern ItalyUndoubtedly one of the most famous Italian liquors, Limoncello, hails from the Amalfi Coast where lemons are super-sized and rich with flavor. This “sunny” tasting digestive has a vibrantly cheerful yellow color and a refreshing tangy taste created by lemon rinds infused in alcohol and then mixed with a simple syrup. Although this liquor is served after meals all year round, it is especially appreciated during the hot summer months served in frozen shot glasses.

Concerto is one of the oldest liquors found in this region of Italy. This ancient recipe, originally made by the monk in the monastery at Tramonti, takes patience and time. Its name, which means “concert”, is probably due to the fact that it is made up of a “harmony” of 15 different herbs and spices such as licorice, aniseed, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon to name a few, which are left to marinate in alcohol for 40 days after which is then added to sugar, barley, coffee and eventually orange and lemon rind. But, wait! After it has been bottled it must rest for another two months before being consumed.

In the town of Benevento, you will find a bewitching yellow-colored liquor called Strega (witch) which is only fitting since Benevento has also been dubbed the City of Witches. Ancient folklore says it has long been a gathering place for witches. This liquor, typically consumed after meals, is a concoction of over 70 different ingredients including mint and fennel and saffron.

Calabria

Probably the most popular liquor of this region is Vecchio Amaro del Capo, commonly used as an “ammazzacaffè”. Originally created by monks for medicinal purposes, this liquor has a unique blend of flowers, roots, herbs and fruit from this region. Don’t let the name “amaro” (bitter) turn you off; although this liquor has a kick to it, it actually has a subtle sweetness with a strong aromatic taste. To get the most out of this liquor, it should be consumed ice cold (-20C) in frozen shot glasses to enhance the variety of flavors.

I have read every travel guide ever written :-)

by thomas144

Actually, with respect to Italy, that is probably true.
first off: Sienna is a Toyota mini-van. Siena is great.
two weeks really isn't a lot of time to do all the things you want to do, is this your first
trip to Italy? you don't want to see Venice?
a really great, new guidebook to Tuscany is the TCI "Authentic Tuscany" guidebook.
I cannot recommend that too highly. it's not very expensive, and well worth it:
I also recommend you use tripadvisor

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