Founded in 1883, the Amodeo family’s Don Cicco & Figli distillery enjoyed nearly a century of liqueur production on the Amalfi Coast. It was started in 1883 by Vincenzo Amodeo in his small house in Atrani, and enjoyed over 45 years of success before shuttered during World War II. In 1951 Francesco “Don Ciccio” Amodeo built a new distillery further up the coast in the town of Furore, which thrived until November 23, 1980 when a massive earthquake hit the region, destroying the distillery and the surrounding lemon trees.
Today, the Amodeo family tradition lives on in Washington, D.C., where founder and distiller Franceso Amodeo produces his family’s liqueurs in small batches using traditional methods. Currently Don Cicco & Figli offers 13 products including amari, aperitivi and cordials. “Our liqueurs offer a refreshing glimpse of the past with a nod to the future which we’re excited to share,” says Francesco Amodeo, President & Master Distiller of Don Ciccio & Figli.
Early this year, the company launched C3 Carciofo artichoke liqueur. This new liqueur is available just in time for the spring months when Artichoke festivals mark the advent of spring in Italy, celebrating warmer weather and seasonal bounty.
C3 is based on a traditional Italian recipe from 1911, a nod to the original Don Cicco & Figli distillery, which produced liqueurs on Italy’s picturesque Amalfi Coast for nearly a century. Today, this recipe is being resurrected stateside by fourth generation family owner Francesco Amodeo who opened the Washington, D.C. distillery in 2012.
C3 is a bitter aperitivo based on an infusion of three types of California-grown artichokes, cardoons, grapefruit, and 18 selected botanicals. It is also barrel-aged for 12 months. While the amaro category has grown significantly in recent years, there is presently just one other artichoke-based liqueur available in the U.S., making this an exciting addition to an intriguing category. The medium-to-high bitterness level was designed with cocktail aficionados and fans of bitter aperitivi like the Negroni and Americano in mind.
C3 Carciofo Artichoke Liqueur (46 proof)
Visual: Intensely dark brown.
Nose: Funky root and dried baking spice nose. Even the scent is like an olfactory aperitif.
Taste: Deep and earthy with a lot of similarity to bark and root flavored beverages. But, the difference ends there, as within a few seconds the familiar semi-bitter and vegetal artichoke character kicks in.
Finish: Long, with a pleasantly herbal palate cleanse.
Overall: If you like Cynar, you will love C3. This takes everything and kicks it up several notches. Try this in a 1-1-1 ratio Negroni with Old Tom gin, Aperol and a splash of Cointreau. Killer.
GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Don Cicco & Figli