Amaro Obsession


Making an amaro is not an easy thing and above all among the many who at this moment are improvised herbalists, there are others like Liberatore Gianpaolo and Biagio Schettino who know how to enhance their imagination and create something unique with refined ingredients, but symbol of territoriality and of tradition. Crithmum is an Amaro, whose botanical of greater importance, which also gives its name to the product is the Crithmum Maritimum, commonly called marine fennel. The Crithmum Maritimum is a plant belonging to the Apiaceae family spread throughout the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic coasts up to Scotland. Like many maritime plants, the Crithmum Maritimum behaves ecologically as a nitrophilous alophyte, ie as a plant that accepts (or sometimes requires) a relatively high salinity in the substrate as well as important nitrogen inputs. On the coast, Crithmum Maritimum occupies a rather narrow strip that goes from the upper sopalterial area up to the whole portion of cliffs and cliffs that receive the splashes of the waves: practically the distribution of this plant accurately draws the so-called “spray zone”. From a phytosociological point of view, Crithmum Maritimum is one of the characteristic and indicative elements of the floristic communities typical of the “splash zone” of the European rocky coasts. In Maratea, a locality that gives birth to our Amaro, the Marine Fennel is present in large quantities along the rocks that populate the Lucanian coast, the harvest takes place exclusively by hand between May and June and in total respect of the plant. Gianpaolo and Biagio are two restaurateurs of the area, both passionate about their work that they carry out with commitment and success, but always keeping an eye on tradition. It is just a traditional local dish that inspires the two boys, an ancient recipe where the Crithmum leaves were mixed with anchovies, onions and olives in a nutritious salad, a typical dish of Lucana’s fishing cuisine. Gianpaolo tells the owner of the restaurant ‘La Taverna di Zu Cicco’, where before opening his restaurant, Biagio was the chef, who once put this dish in the menu of the restaurant, many old fishermen went back from the port to get downtown, to taste this poor dish but an icon of the territory of Potenza. The inspiration, Biagio says watching Giampaolo, comes from the past, when as children, on summer afternoons, we often found ourselves playing among the rocks between jumps, tumbles, wounds caused by sharp rocks and strange discoveries. The element that always accompanied us was this strong salty smell coming from the green that filled the cracks between the rocks. That green was essentially composed of the Crithmum Maritimum. As adults, the memory of those carefree days, peeked out when, venturing into the restaurant, we tried to recreate the flavors and smells of the past. The Crithmum immediately came to mind proposing, as already said by Giampaolo, a very special seafood salad, not appreciated by everyone just for that overly salty taste. But it was not enough. In the following years, in retrospect, we decided to re-propose that plant in a more pleasant look. We did several experiments and what pleased us the most was the liqueur. So we decided that this could be the way to reevaluate a fallen plant now in disuse. Thus was born “Crithmum. The liquor of the sea“. The Crithmum has an alcohol content of 32° ABV it has a beautiful amber color, tending to green, the olfactory analysis is intense and balsamic, recalls the typical pungent smell of the Mediterranean cliffs once moved in the hands and savored, the palate It is overwhelmed by a delicate and pungent taste at the same time, softened by chamomile and the Crithmum Maritimum. Wonderful after a meal with an ice cube or excellent ingredient in a Negroni Bianco instead of a classic Bitter, accompanied by a White Vermouth and Gin.

To have more information about Crithmum please contact

Giaskett di Liberatore Gianpaolo & C. sas 

Via Roma, snc

85046 Maratea (PZ)

Matteo Zed