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Made with a secret recipe of more than a hundred years old, the Averna is a popular amaro (an Italian herbal liqueur digestif). It’s produced in Caltanissetta, Sicily in Italy. It has a dark brown color, a thick texture, and an ABV of 29%.
On the nose, it’s bitter and syrupy, with hints of roast coffee and dark chocolate-covered orange peel. It’s bittersweet and well-rounded on the palate, with flavors of orange and licorice, and notes of juniper berries, rosemary, and sage.
The Amaro Averna can be enjoyed on its own, and equally as incredible when mixed with other drinks. Try it with soda water for a refreshing turn. It also works brilliantly combined with dark spirits, like rum, brandy, whisky, or tequila. A great option is The Beatnik Cocktail. Try this recipe from The Spruce Eats:
Said to have been created in Abbazia Di Santo Spirito in Italy by Benedictine monks, this amaro recipe was gifted to Salvatore Averna, a textile merchant, in 1868. It was given as a thanks for his contributions to the community. He quickly took to producing it. His son, Francesco, was the one to get it more attention and fame when he took over. But Francesco’s untimely death led to his wife, Anna Maria, taking charge. With her children’s help, Averna rose to worldwide recognition in the 1970s.
Today, Averna is a household name in Italy, and with the recipe remaining unchanged through centuries, it stays a classic and an icon of amaro history.
Store your liqueur in a cool and dry area, away from sunlight and direct heat, like a pantry or a cupboard. Make sure to keep it tightly closed when not in use.
Unopened, it will remain good quality indefinitely. Once opened, you may refrigerate for better keeping. Consume within 4 to 5 years, as the flavors will start to fade.