GSN Review: Cerasum Aperitivo

Washington D.C.-based distillery Don Ciccio & Figli continues to take its artisanal offerings national with the launch of Cerasum Aperitivo, a bitter-cherry liqueur.

The naturally tart spirit is available this Spring, in time for sipping in the sun with DC’s Cherry Trees in full bloom. Made with cherries from Michigan and local cherry blossoms, the Aperitivo brings US agriculture together in a way that resembles the past with a humble nod to the future.

Cerasum is based on a traditional Italian recipe from 1906, respecting the original product from the Don Ciccio & 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.

Cerasum is a bitter aperitivo based on an infusion of three types of cherries from Michigan, sakura blossoms from Virginia and 10 selected roots and herbs including Juniper, Chamomile, Hibiscus, and resting at 23% ABV.

While the aperitivo category has grown significantly in recent years, there are only a few other cherry-based liqueurs available in the U.S, making this an exciting addition to an intriguing category. The natural tartness of the cherries rolls into a root style bitterness that creates a recognizable sensation, providing an applicable new style of liqueur. The medium-to-high bitterness level was designed with cocktail aficionados and fans of bitter aperitivi like the Negroni and Americano in mind.

Cerasum Aperitivo (23% abv)
Visual: Rusty malbec.
Nose: Dried herb and dark cherry. Slightly medicinal, but fresh and grassy as well.
Taste: At first, it is cherry sweet, but after a few seconds, a bitter, woody herb sachet enters the picture to tone things down. Slightly viscous mouthfeel.
Finish: Long with the cherry flavor playing tag with the root/herb blend.
Overall: There aren’t enough cherry flavored liqueurs, let alone aperitvos to play with in the cocktail world. This makes a very welcome addition to the game. Try this in tiki drinks, and slings to cut back on the sweetness.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Don Ciccio e Figli

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