— No. 74 —



Seriously, who knows more about overindulgence in food than Italians? Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s how we have amaro or if you have a couple then it’s amari (plural). Italians gave us this bittersweet, herbal liqueur. It actually means “bitter” in Italian.  It’s usually consumed as an after-dinner digestif in Europe. Amari are typically chock full of ingredients.

— No. 73 —

Root & Snap


You may have heard of our neighbors to the north, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. This boutique is a must stop during my many Philly trips. That and the Italian Market of course. Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’s carefully curated shop features small label goods from the likes of Billykirk, Wren, Shabd and Property Of, as well as posters from local artists’ like Alex Lukas. The shop has a lot to offer, but I’ll be focusing on their hand crafted liqueurs. Well, actually you can’t by them in their store. You’ll have to go to the liquor store down the block to get your bottles of Root and Snap

— No. 66 —

Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur


Since 1821, people have identified Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur by its straw-plaited bottles. Originally it was used to avoid breakage during sea travel. Now it is a staple of the brand, visually pulling it forward on liquor shelves across the globe. Still owned and operated by the sixth generation of the Luxardo family, it is one of the oldest European liqueurs (learn more about the history of Luxardo). Luxardo Maraschino is a true classic and is one of the most important …

— No. 64 —

Faretti Biscotti Famosi


Farretti Biscotti Famosi liqueur is made in the Trentino region of Northern Italy where they still bake their biscotti cookies in rustic brick ovens. Sounds like a hidden part of heaven I’ve yet to find. Just like the traditional twice baked cookie, this liqueur’s recipe is based off of nuts, anise, citrus and caramel. The base is of vodka and it is sweetened with beet sugar. I’m not sure how this liqueur is crafted because there isn’t much on the web, …

— No. 62 —

Lillet Blanc


The original Lillet Blanc recipe dates back to 1872 and was called Kina Lillet made by Paul and Raymond Lillet.  In 1986 it was reformulated. The recipe cut back on the quinine/bitterness and added more fresh fruit notes. Kina in the original name comes from the Peruvian tree called “kina kina”. They use the bark of this tree to make quinine, also called Chinchona. Tasting notes: Sniff and you’ll notice the select blend of Bordeaux grapes aged in oak casks, …

— No. 60 —

Saffron Infused Gin


Quality boutique gin is sweeping the states, so it makes sense that France’s famous micro-distiller (Gabriel Boudier of Dijon) has given us an artisanal Saffron Infused Gin. The gin is based on an old French colonial recipe, centered around the spices of India, and handcrafted in small batches that utilize an old pot still method.

— No. 47 —



Applejack was the first natively distilled spirit in the United States, or what was the colonies at the time. Believe it or not, in New Jersey, applejack was used as currency to pay road construction crews during the colonial period. There used to be a number of distilleries in New Jersey and  Pennsylvania up until the 1930s, but now there’s only one, Laird & Company. William Laird made his first batch of applejack in 1698 and the recipe was shared …

— No. 46 —

Death’s Door Gin

Death's Door bottle

The handcrafted gin by Death’s Door Spirits won Wine & Spirits Best Spirit award in 2009, so yeah, there’s that. It may have won this award because it’s made from a special winter wheat that only grows on Washington Island, Wisconsin. This sustainably grown red wheat is harvested in a pristine maritime environment. The gin is a three botanical blend of organic juniper, coriander and fennel. The tasting experience begins with a bright juniper bouquet followed by a mild middle …

— No. 43 —

Dimmi Liquore di Milano


I’ve recently put the Italian aperitif Dimmi Liquore di Milano into my liquor cabinet. It’s been getting a lot of attention from the top mixologist lately, and for good reason Dimmi gets its base from northern Italian organic wheat distillation. They infuse the base with a rustic recipe from 1932 including assenzio gentile, an Italian absinthe. This infusion also includes nuances of: liquorice vanilla rhubarb ginseng bitter orange (orange peels) Dimmi also includes a second, more modern floral infusion. This …