Averna: Sicily’s After Dinner Bitter

Averna is an amaro, or a bitter liqueur that many Italians drink after dinner as a digestif. Amari (plural of amaro) can have bitter, sour, or bittersweet taste as a result of the aromatic herbs, bark, fruit, roots, rinds, and more that are combined to create the cocktail. Averna, which was founded in 1868 by Salvatore Averna, is made in an herbalists’s laboratory in Caltanissetta, Sicily. It contains Sicilian citrus, pomegranate, pure alcohol, and more. After the ingredients are combined and filtered, Averna is ready to be bottled. It can be drank straight, frozen, or with ice. The master blender recommends enjoying it in a glass called a womb, with ice in concert with sprigs of mint, rosemary, or sage and citrus peels. To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Averna launched the special “Averna Reserve Don Salvatore” that is aged for 18 months in oak barrels.

The Averna laboratory, cantina, and museum may be toured by appointment.

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