Located on the slopes of Mount Sibillini in Eastern Italy, Distilleria Varnelli has been creating intensely Italian liqueurs there since its founding in 1868. Some 150 years later, the families’ intensely Italian four women strong fourth generation continues to insist on 100% natural ingredients and traditional techniques. Elda, Gigliola Simonetta, Mari Donatella and Orietta Maria still personally oversee the secret phases of production, hopefully it’s the very old school extraction of botanicals over a wood fire. The mission: “Offer products that make pleasant moments of social life still more pleasant, with ancient flavors reinterpreted in a contemporary way.” Perfect. If you can’t tell, I’m totally stanning for these D’oro Donne and their quintessential Amaro.
Amaro Sibilla, the original Varnelli product since 1868, $51.50. Obtained from a decoction of herbs, roots and barks prepared over a wood fire, and sweetened with honey from the families own apiary. A long aging and decanting period follows to ensure a smooth and moderately bitter liqueur. The first impression of honeyed sweetness is followed by an intense bitter tannic taste with a long finish. The bitterness is balanced with aromas of chestnuts, honey, dried fruit, vanilla and coffee.
Amaro Dell’Erborista, a statement making bottle full of statement making flavor, $61.50. Dell’Erborista also comes from herbs, roots and barks prepared over a wood fire, with only pure honey used to sweeten the blend. Aromas of stewed ripe fruit and sultana meet scents of gentian, rhubarb, sandalwood and honey in a combination reminiscent of herbal tea. On the palate it is dry, bitter, and warm, with loads of tannins. Honey returns on the finish along with orange peel, clove, and cinnamon.