Amaro Averna: The Rock-star Sicilian Aperitif


(photo: Averna on the rocks with a slice of orange)

Averna, the amaro and aperitif/digestif from, and still produced in, Sicilia, is a bona fide rock-star.   Yes, like Bono, Freddie Mercury, or Roger Waters, Averna makes you tingle all over and has you wondering how anything can be (taste) so damn good.  

For those of you not in the know, Averna is a Sicilian liqueur made of herbs, roots, and citrus rinds which are soaked in alcohol; caramel is also added to give the product a distinct color.  Averna was founded in 1868 by Salvatore Averna and is still produced by the same family.  Averna is usually served straight (on the rocks) with a slice of orange and is 32% alc/volume (64 proof).  There are also some classic cocktails made with Averna including Vertigo, the mojito Italiano, and the Sicilian triangle.

Amari are wonderful representations of Italy and a large part of what it means to lead the Italian life.  For me, sipping on a wonderful aperitif prior to a long weekend lunch brings me back to Southern Italy and I can almost feel the Mediterranean sun on my face and smell the wonderful air filled with wild fruit, the ocean, and the fertile soil.  
Go out and get yourself a few bottles of Amari and experience a little bit of Italian life in the United States.   

(photo: Averna is packaged wonderfully and still made in Sicilia by the original family)

Find it: Averno, $36.19 at  


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  2. I like Amaro Averna as an after dinner digestive, drunk neat

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