A liqueur, or cordial, is a beverage which has been flavored with herbs, spices, fruits, floral compounds, cream, or a mixture of the previously listed ingredients. It is then bottled with sugar added. Liqueurs are typically very sweet and are usually rested before release so that their flavors can mix.

The original liqueurs are originally descended from the older herbal medicines of the 13th and 14th Centuries. Most of these at the time were prepared in monasteries, hence the still famous production of Chartreuse and Bénédictine. Some of these liqueurs are meant for drinking neat or on ice, and some are now staples in classic cocktails.

Crème de Violette in the Aviation cocktail, Velvet Falernum in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club cocktail, St. Elizabeth Allspice in the Lion’s Tail cocktail, and Nux Alpina Walnut in the Brenner Pass cocktail. They are also used for making the colorful layered cocktails using their density differences to float one on top of the other.

The difference between a liqueur and a spirit is sometimes difficult because of the many flavored forms of spirits that are available. However a pretty reliable guide is: A liqueur has sugar added to it and a spirit does not. Absinthe and other similar anise flavored spirits contain no sugar and are therefore flavored spirits rather than liqueurs.


Liqueur Producers

ProducerPictureAbout the Producer
MelettiThe Silvio Meletti Company was founded in 1870 by Silvio Meletti. The roots of this company and its successful products are to be found even further back. Silvio Meletti was raised in a poor family and soon quit his study to help his mother at work; his mother ran a small store and, among many other items, sold home-made anise liquor which was very popular among her customers.

Silvio Meletti also used his talent for commercializing his products; he used to give liquor bottles as presents to people he trusted in neighboring towns so the liquor would be known outside his town. Therefore, the company product markets, productivity and personnel quickly increased.

The anise distillation is an old tradition in Ascoli and it is still possible today to find exquisite quality home-made anise distillates especially in farmers’ homes. Silvio Meletti learned his mother’s technique and recipes and started studying French essays on distillation (His family still owns his book dated 1700) and after several experiments, he enhanced the recipe and distillation technique that is still used today to obtain the Anisetta Meletti.

This main ingredient is green anise (Pimpinella anisum), a type of anise typical of the Mediterranean area; green anise is strongly aromatic because of the clay nature of the soil in the Marche region and particularly in the Ascoli area. The anise of these lands is, in fact, two or three times more fragrant than the anise in other Mediterranean areas.

The recipe and the distillation procedure used originally in 1870 are the same used today by the Meletti heirs and the Meletti family. They are still a family owned company with the fifth generation now at the helm.

Anisetta was not the only big creation Silvio Meletti left to his successors. His second creation was in a way a “daughter” of the first one; in 1903 he bought for 24,150 Italian liras the Royal Post Office building located in Piazza del Popolo, the town main square. In few years, he completely remodeled the whole building and transformed it in one of the most beautiful Italian coffee houses and one of the most important Art Deco building in Italy: the historic Caffè Meletti.
Caffè Meletti has been and still is not only the gathering place of Ascoli life but also the city symbol in Italy and the world. It is renowned for the quality of its service and pastries: the Pierina pastry, created in honor of Silvio Meletti’s wife Pierina, is very famous.
The Caffè was sold in 1991 by the Meletti family and is now property of the Ascoli Piceno Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio.

Anisetta Meletti was invented and produced for the first time in 1870 by Silvio Meletti, who developed and improved an aniseed-based liquor produced by hand in his mother’s small shop. Anisetta Meletti has a very delicate taste and a special aroma that comes from the quality of the aniseed (Pimpinella Anisum) carefully cultivated in certain areas of clay soil around Ascoli Piceno.

Anisetta Meletti is still produced with the systems developed and established in 1870. The most important point of the production is the alcohol distillation with aniseeds.
The alcohol absorbs the aromatic part of the aniseed thanks to the type of stills.

Amaro Meletti comes from an old recipe of the ancient Meletti family and it is the result of a blend of excellent aromatic herbs. It is a very good after-dinner, with ice and without ice too.

Dutch milk and cocoa are mixed to make a delicious and creamy spirit. Meletti chocolate is tasted as a classic punch, at room temperature, with ice or with ice-cream too.

It is obtained by the extraction of the essential oil of the lemon peels and it is well known for its perfect balance among alcohol, sugar and lemon. It is kept on freezer and it is served ice-cold.

It is strong drink obtained by a mixture of water, alcohol, sugar and aromatic herbs coming from the aniseeds.

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