In Italy, there are as many amaro bitters as there are different regions. Averna is distinctly Sicilian with its bright and refreshing bitter characters. Lemons and oranges impart a warm citrus flavour.
Amaro bitters have a long tradition in Europe, in particular in Italy, to aid digestion. A glass after a long, indulgent Sunday lunch is believed to ease the stomach. Perhaps because amaro is a very Italian drink, it not only helps to aid after-dinner digestion but a glass is also makes a good excuse to stay at the table for more eating and conversation.
The original Averna recipe was developed in Benedicitine abbeys where the friars produced the herbal tonic following a secret recipe. The Averna story began in 1859, when the friars gave Salvatore Averna, a wealthy textile merchant in Sicily, the recipe as a token of gratitude. Salvatore produced the bitter at home for his guests, but it was not until his son Francesco presented the bitters at fairs around Europe that the modern story of Averna started.
Over the past four generations, the Averna family have turned what was a family past time into one of Italy’s most renowned digestive liqueurs.
Averna is also one of the most versatile bitters for mixing drinks. While the traditional way to drink Averna is in a shot glass with a wedge of lemon, or over ice with a slice of orange, the complex bitter and aromatic flavours provide a vibrant flavour palette to create cocktails.