Sambuca and Limoni – 140 Years of Averna

Averna - Liquors

Averna is famous for their Amaro liqueur but they’ve decided to expand into a few new avenues to add to their library of liquors such as that of Amaro. Amaro, meaning “bitter” in Italian, is an Italian herbal liqueur commonly drank after dinner. To me, it sounds like the Italian version of Jägermeister but doesn’t exactly have the same taste (my review will come soon for Amaro).

Now, Averna is going to work towards a new direction, one that I’m fully on board with: Sambuca! Sambuca doesn’t stray far from Averna’s home, being another Italian liquor only this one is flavored with aniseed which many people relate to black liquorice. If you don’t like black liquorice you’re going to probably shy away from Sambuca. I, however, love it.

Secondly, they’ll jump into the production of Limoni, a lemon liquor…Mmmm. Their limoni is actually created from distilled lemons, not just an artificial flavor–you gotta love the real stuff.

Anyway, on to their press release!


Consumers Can Now Savor Flavorful Averna Sambucas & Limoni

January 8, 2008, NEW YORK, NY — Paolo Domeneghetti, Founder and C.E.O. of DSWE (Domaine Select Wine Estates), the exclusive importer of Averna, announced today that Averna is introducing the first line extension in the company’s 140-year history. Averna, sold in 44 countries with sales of over 2 million cases annually, has been a family-run tradition for four generations and is the preferred Amaro of Italy. Focusing on evolving the Aperitivo and after-dinner drink experience, Averna now introduces three Sambucas — traditional, licorice and citrus — and Averna’s very own Limoni, a lemon juice-distilled liqueur.

“Averna is a powerful global brand,” said Paolo Domeneghetti. “Extending the line to include new products that share Averna’s great product quality and Sicilian heritage is a great opportunity for everybody in the wine and spirits business who has come to appreciate Averna’s unique qualities.”

Sambuca was created in the mid-19th century and was named for the Sambucchelli” who were bringing anise-flavored water (the anise provided a stronger thirst quenching effect) to the peasants in the field. It is typically served neat or over ice as a ‘digestivo.’ In a blind consumer taste test conducted in Italy, Averna Sambuca took first place for the best ‘perfume’ and taste. Made of star anise (found on the evergreen tree in southwest China), a spice that is widely used in Chinese and Indian cuisine and beverages, Averna Sambuca’s fresh taste is a result of a unique blend of this special anise and spices.

Averna’s ‘Sambuca alla Liquirizia’ is a combination of star anise and licorice. Licorice root from Sicily has a powerful taste sweeter than sugar; when combined with the star anise these powerful tastes form a potent and invigorating Sambuca that is perfect for sipping neat or adding to coffee. Averna’s ‘Sambuca agli Agrumi’ is an innovative twist on the traditional Sambuca, featuring citrus fruit flavoring. The star anise is paired with tangy fruits to create an intense taste. All new products carry a suggested retail price of $28.99 and are 84 proof.

Limoni (SRP $29.99) is different than Limoncello in that it is distilled from actual lemons and lemon juice whereas Limoncello is a grain alcohol with lemon flavoring. The Averna ‘Limoni di Sicilia’ is a lemon liqueur that uses world-renowned Sicilian lemons to introduce a fresh citrus taste. The Sicilian lemons are unlike any other in that they taste and smell like Zagara flower, which covers the Sicilian landscape. The combination of fresh, soft taste and orange blossom flavor makes the Averna Limoni di Sicilia truly stand out.

About Averna
Averna (www.averna.it), Italy’s favorite Amaro and the first licensed spirit in Sicily, is distilled from an all-natural blend of herbs, dried flowers, spices and licorice. The recipe for Averna is a closely guarded secret of Fratelli Averna S.p.A., a fourth-generation family-run company based in Caltanissetta, Sicily. Traditionally a soothing after-dinner drink, or digestivo, known for its distinctively delicious bitter sweet taste profile, Averna is now being discovered by bartenders and cocktail lovers as a versatile mixer for a variety of drink recipes.


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