I was in the presence of Il Maestro last week at the launch of his new liqueur, Acqua Bianca. If you are not in the know, Il Maestro is the nickname of Salvatore Calabrese, the internationally recognized bartending legend! He joined De Kuyper Royal Distillers to create Acqua Bianca, an aromatic new liqueur perfect for spritzes, highballs and cocktails.
Hoping to make the “most aromatic liqueur in the world,” Salvatore revived and reworked a recipe taken from an antique book dating back to the late 1800s. He began with three different citrus notes, lemons from the Amalfi Coast, bergamot from Calabria, and cidron – one of the oldest varieties of citrus – from Asia. They play harmoniously with hints of peppermint and rose, all bound together with essence of ambergris, which is more traditionally used in refined perfumes.
His goal was to create something sweet, but not sticky which could work well with dark & white spirits, and having tasted it with both, I can attest to the fact that he was successful!
As a bibliophile myself, I love the bottle which was designed by Calabrese’s daughter, Francesca. Resembling a book which gives a nod to the historic inspiration for Acqua Bianca, the label acts as the spine. I have inserted it in between my copy of Imbibe by David Wondrich and Jerry Thomas’s The Floating Bowl!