Amaro Obsession


Il 2018 ha visto tante cose belle, tra cui la nostra nascita, quella dello staff di, e con noi tantissime novità che portano lustro e una moderna veste all’Amaro, il prodotto che sta spopolando dietro i banchi dei migliori bar del mondo. Oggi vi vogliamo raccontare 5 “amare” novità del 2018.


This is the story of two friends Alessandro Ortogni, Andrea Corezzola, fellows in the soccer team and in interminable matches of “Cicera Bigia” (The normal broom I imagine) that together gave birth to a beautiful fable of Amaro Zerotrenta. Alessandro and Andrea always keep repeating that Amaro Zerotrenta was born from their strong and sincere friendship, where the perception that together, each with their own attitudes, could have achieved a good project was always in the air, but the Amaro was born almost as a joke Between one match and the other at the “green table”, but probably it was the project that best suited them, and yes because these guys besides being big consumers of Amaro and liquors of various (… and dubious) backgrounds during their evenings of chance, had both Right knowledge to produce a great quality amaro…. Alessandro is, in fact, graduated in herbal sciences with a thesis on “medicinal Wines” and an herbalist in that of Castegnato, perfectly in symbiosis with the pragmatism and vision of Andrea, instead environmental engineer. Thus began the path of Amaro Zerotrenta, that after a meeting with Amaro Obsession Crew continues with the creation in 2018 of the barricated version of the Amaro Zerotrenta. The Barricato has an alcoholic base made with Grappa d’Amarone and undergoes a long rest in cask from which it awakens rich in aromaticity and its amber notes are combined with those enveloping of the wood, giving rise to precious sensations that combine, without rushing, persist and cheer the palate with every sip. At the botanic base there is always the Star Anise, the Gentian, the Licorice and the Rosemary, which merge thanks to a careful use of sugary and alcoholic presence, it’s important to remember that the Amaro Zerotrenta uses agave honey as a sweetener, a low glycemic index sugar that meets the new needs of the consumer of this era. The Barricato turned out to be a modern Amaro, for meditation without heaviness or extreme features, which is expressed with ethereal and slightly balsamic notes in a round body.


Born from a dream come back from a trip to the United States at the end of 2017, what Amaro Obsession considers to be the smartest product of the year. The dreamer is one of the coolest and most real characters in the World Industry: Mr Matteo Luxardo. Already in the Luxardo portfolio in the early 1900s in Zara where the company was founded in 1821 by an initiative of the Genoese dealer Girolamo Luxardo. He arrived in Zara in 1817 as consul of the Kingdom of Sardinia, where he opened a lace shop with his wife. Here the wife begins to produce a homemade Maraschino from an old monkish Rosolio recipe. Maraschino which will become the best-selling Maraschino in the world thanks to a modified and improved recipe compared to the past. The Maraschino Luxardo is the first Maraschino to be produced with a maceration in two years in larch barrels, where the parts involved are for the first time also the petiole, the stem, the leaves and the branches of the plant of the Morello cherries and of course hazels and pulp of the fruit. At the end of the maceration the solid part is dried and distilled in a discontinuous distiller for 4 hours, the finished product is left to rest in cask for the remaining two years until it is marketed in 88 countries in the world. Maraschino is wonderful in the mouth and nose where the first hints are herbaceous and then the maraschino salt, this complexity makes the Maraschino Luxardo the perfect Maraschino par excellence. Matteo as the good Girolamo has a brilliant mind and a great spirit of observation, these qualities have led to the creation of a new Bitter Bianco different from the first product in Zara in 1920. The first Luxardo Bitter Bianco was produced and bottled after a long maceration while the current after a maceration undergoes a distillation at the end of which, to maintain the hint of bitterness, is added absinthe, the reason why we proceed in this mode is because the distillation takes away in part the Bitter note to the liquid. Luxardo uses a beet alcohol in which bitter herbs and botanicals including melon, Bitter orange and rhubarb are melted. The Bitter Bianco Luxardo is the first Bitter Bianco sold in America where Luxardo products are very popular also by the Jewish community because they respect the Kosher rules. Here the Bitter Bianco Luxardo is slowly replacing the Suze in one of the best selling recipes in the U.S.A.: the Negroni Bianco, giving the cocktail a taste closer to the original Negroni and freeing it from the strong angelic aftertaste.


In the back-shop of his biscuit factory in Pisticci, Cavalier Pasquale Vena created a blend of herbs with a balanced but decisive flavor, with unmistakable citrus and floral notes. So Amaro Lucano was born. Over the years Amaro Lucano as never has accompanied the life of the Italians reaching even the most refined palates of the royal House of Savoy, of which the vein family became the official supplier. Amaro Lucano crossed unthinkable boundaries thanks to great publicity campaigns that amplified the notoriety of the Amaro and transformed it from local product to liquor appreciated all over the world. But it is in the years ’80, that Amaro Lucano achieves immortality in the heart of each citizen globally through a broad campaign of communication, mainly television, with the unmistakable claim that still presents Amaro Lucano in the world:

What more could you want from life? A Lucano!

The passion has been handed down from generation to generation and today Pasquale Vena, grandson of the founder, his wife Rosistella and his sons Leonardo, Francesco and Letizia, work with the same determination and passion that in the years brought Amaro Lucano to success. And it is thanks to Leonardo that Amaro Obsession meets in every part of the world, that we learn many unpublished details of the new Amaro Lucano Anniversario, created in 2015,but brought to the attention of the general public in this year. Leonardo Vena begins immediately telling us that we obtained the old recipe during the implementation of an important project within the company Pisticci Scalo (which we will talk about shortly), popped up some old recipes of the great-grandfather Pasquale Vena antecedent to the opening period of the Liquport in 1894 including that of Amaro Lucano Anniversario. The new Amaro Lucano Anniversario is not a reserve, produced with botanicals untraceable or aged in who knows what barrel, but much more, Amaro Lucano Anniversario represents the dream of the great-grandfather Pasquale, to make a version of Amaro Lucano more robust and bitter, with more character than the original formula. The botanicals are the same 30 botanicals used for Amaro Lucano, but dosed in different quantities in the final mixture and the alcoholic grade is higher, 34% abv versus 28% of the classical. It is born that a more male and more tied product to the Amaro type of the Old World, where the sweetness and sweetness leave room to a liquor that wraps the palate and overwhelms the throttle with pleasant strength, and the bitterness of herbs and roots that compose it prevails over the force of sugar, and give full satisfaction to the taste buds guaranteeing a really good salivation. If anyone still has doubts about the bright future of the Amaro and an upcoming leadership of this spirit in the beverage world, you will surely be convinced by the fact that Coca-Cola has decided to bet on it personally and totally acquiring the distribution of the Amaro Lucano brand.


It was only a matter of time, and following the new trends of world drinking, or better to say, the new needs to drink low or without alcohol, here is born the Non-Alcoholic Amaro. It is called The Bitter Note and born from a brilliant entrepreneurial mind, the idea really comes initially from a personal experience of the founder, who sees her father fall ill and live the last years of his life without being able to enjoy moments of conviviality because of forcibly teetotaler. As an energetic businessman and a lover of good food and good drink, he feels inhibited from continuing to organize the pleasant evenings in the company that often took place in the tavern of his house, a meeting place with friends, where he listened to music chatting and drinking something in the company. Hence the revolutionary idea that springs from the third generation of a family with over 70 years of entrepreneurial history in the world of food and beverage. The spirit of observation, the skills in the world of alcohol-free and innovation in DNA have allowed to the Company members to identify an idea that contained all the ingredients to become a case of international success, combining the two major trends in the beverage industry: Amaro and alcohol-free. Active only since October The Bitter Note comes to life after a careful analysis of the market and the fact that soon the Amaro will be the reference spirit of the world beverage market going to replace the Gin and cancel the spirits of Agave, also because an Amaro has much to tell with its versatility and complexity, the result of tradition and endless alchemical experiments to balance the countless botanicals that often are part of it. The recipe involves the use of more than 40 herbs, whose aroma and active ingredient is transmitted to the Amaro using for each a different method, but the best for the genus of botanical. For example, 36 herbs, roots and spices are infused, artichoke leaves and other aromatic herbs use decoction, Veneto teriaca is extracted and finally angostura and quassia wood through maceration. Finally, they are mixed, balanced and left to rest before bottling. The Amaro The Bitter Note is like its name, characterized by 7 notes of flavor, so it will turn to the palate, bitter, balsamic, herbaceous, fresh, spicy, citrus and sweet and although there is no alcohol the pleasure will be the same as drinking a normal Amaro. In tasting it appears dark in color, with amber tones, the nose opens with the scent of bitter roots, fresh mint and rhubarb; on the palate, it is striking for the softness of the sip, characterized by a rich profile, markedly bitter and pleasantly aromatic. The Bitter Note is, therefore, the first drink that has all the strength of a great classic: the Italian Herbal Amaro, a versatile product to drink neat as a digestive after-dinner, on the rocks with ice to open scents and aromas with the addition of a citrus zest, mixed in a wonderful drink like an Amaro Sour or hot as a digestive and invigorating Punch.


Although Marco Schiavo was a great lover of the Americano Cocktail, he was tired of Bitter's national brands that no longer satisfied him, too sweet, too heavy and sometimes "chemical", so he made the decision to undertake a new project with the Schiavo distillery. The idea was to produce some bitters that could be well linked to Italian vermouth, thus balancing the taste in mixing recipes. Marco has decided to go back to the origins of the bitters: reduce the sugar a lot and use a natural raw material (the best and most expensive on the market). In short, to do what the chefs have been doing for years in their dishes! Like all Gagliardo products also the Bitter Radicale Extra has the great peculiarity to use alcohol produced by the distillation of fruit: more fragrant and sweet compared to other alcohol on the market (unfortunately it is also considerably more expensive, but it is essential if you want to produce high bitters segment). The botanicals used to produce it are all natural, Marco Schiavo carefully avoids the chemistry. We have already judged Bitter Gagliardo a few months ago placing it at the top of the 10 best Italian bitters, Marco Schiavo defines the Extra Radical Bitter as an overdose of the latter, where there is an infusion 18 days long, a more robust presence of the gentian, the green claret that gives the herbaceous note, the bitter orange that gives freshness and the slope that gives roundness to the product. The sugar doses remain unchanged, therefore very low, the cochineal red color also remains as well as licorice and rhubarb. The Bitter Gagliardo Radicale Extra was supposed to go out on the market in 2013, but it was too extreme in its characteristics for the Italian market so the Schiavo Family decided to start distributing it from 2018 and instead started with the softer version that gave everyone the chance to get used to our idea of Amaro a little at a time. For this year it has been produced in about 1500 numbered bottles, which make it a niche product, rare and difficult and precious availability.

Matteo Zed

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