Alkermes Liqueur

#BarFaithBottleTalk: Alkermes. Ok it’s not Campari, but it IS a red Italian liqueur. 😉 I had never heard of Alkermes til my visit to Florence earlier this year. Designated as a traditional product of Tuscany, Alkermes/alchermes is a liqueur with ANCIENT origins. The recipe for this current version from Santa Maria Novella dates back to the 1700s, but the general liqueur has been traced to the 1200s, with the original Middle Eastern variant dating to the 900s. 😯 . The spirit is bright red (colored by cochineal insects, and originally by its namesake kermes insects) and is rife with sweetness and warm spices: cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, coriander, star anise, vanilla, rose water, and more. These days, the liqueur is most well-known for its usage in a few traditional Italian desserts. . The origin of many historic, ancient herbal spirits and liqueurs arose from the pharmacy tradition, oftentimes from monks and religious figures seeking the elixir of life and potions to heal the sick. And if you are ever in Florence, one place that's definitely worth a stop is the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Set up originally in the 1200s by monks creating antidotes and balms to heal the ill, the pharmacy gained renown and finally opened to the public in the 1600s and has been in business serving customers continuously ever since...that's over 400 years! The pharmacy stands at its original location and has a variety of products that really highlights the close ties and shared ancestry between medicine and spirits. . Have you heard of alkermes or visited this historic pharmacy? What's your favorite herbal/medicinal liqueur? . [archived in #BarFaithLiqueurs] . #BarFaith #BarFaithAlkermes #santamarianovella #italy #florence #tuscany #toscana #alkermes #alchermes #zuppainglese #liquori #firenze #liqueurs #homebar #campari #negroniweek #homebartender #craftcocktail #craftcocktails #drinkstagram #mixologyguide #amaro #santamarianovellapharmacy

2018-06-08 09.00.18 1797289431984533764_4831345287

Alkermes. Ok it’s not Campari, but it IS a red Italian liqueur. I had never heard of Alkermes til my visit to Florence earlier this year. Designated as a traditional product of Tuscany, Alkermes/alchermes is a liqueur with ANCIENT origins. The recipe for this current version from Santa Maria Novella dates back to the 1700s, but the general liqueur has been traced to the 1200s, with the original Middle Eastern variant dating to the 900s.

The spirit is bright red (colored by cochineal insects, and originally by its namesake kermes insects) and is rife with sweetness and warm spices: cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, coriander, star anise, vanilla, rose water, and more. These days, the liqueur is most well-known for its usage in a few traditional Italian desserts.

The origin of many historic, ancient herbal spirits and liqueurs arose from the pharmacy tradition, oftentimes from monks and religious figures seeking the elixir of life and potions to heal the sick. And if you are ever in Florence, one place that’s definitely worth a stop is the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Set up originally in the 1200s by monks creating antidotes and balms to heal the ill, the pharmacy gained renown and finally opened to the public in the 1600s and has been in business serving customers continuously ever since…that’s over 400 years! The pharmacy stands at its original location and has a variety of products that really highlights the close ties and shared ancestry between medicine and spirits.

Have you heard of alkermes or visited this historic pharmacy? What’s your favorite herbal/medicinal liqueur?