Washington D.C.-based distillery Don Ciccio & Figli recently relaunched Donna Rosa Rabarbaro, a rhubarb liqueur made in an aperitivo style. Donna Rosa is based on a traditional Italian recipe from 1896, with a nod to the original Don Ciccio & Figli distillery, which produced liqueurs on Italy’s 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.
Donna Rosa is a bitter aperitivo based on an infusion of three types of rhubarb roots from around the world, honeysuckle, rose petals from California and 17 selected botanicals including rose, rhubarb, chamomile, bitter orange and quassia. It is aged in French Oak Barrels for 12 months, and rests at 20% ABV. While the aperitivo category has grown significantly in recent years, there are only a few other rhubarb-based liqueurs 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 –a highlighted style of drinking across Europe and around the U.S.
The bottle features a striking label of Donna Rosa with a bid to the history of witchcraft. Donna Rosa lived amongst a colony of witches under the picturesque fjord of the Amalfi Coast.
Donna Rosa Rabarbaro (20 abv)
Visual: Very dark red-brown.
Nose: Dry, tannic notes of dried herb, orange peel and unsurprisingly, rhubarb. An olfactory potpourri.
Taste: Somewhat fruity and in the medium range of bitterness. A lot of mouthfeel and body, along with a slight peppery punch towards the fade out.
Finish: Long with a dry fruit finish.
Overall: A glass of this on the rocks with a twist, works wonders after a long day. As a mixer in an amari forward cocktail, this too with shine. There is a lot going on in spite of the low abv. Another winner from Don Ciccio & Figli!
GSN Rating: A-
For more information go to: Don Ciccio & Figli