Since 1868, Amaro Averna has represented true Sicilian craft with a story rooted in heritage and tradition.
Its recipe transmits the flavors and aromas of the land it comes from
and has become a staple in every Italian home, passed down from generation to generation.
The secret recipe was crafted in the early nineteenth century by the Benedictine monks of Abbazia Di Santo Spirito. They produced a liqueur that told the unique aromas and flavors of the land through Mediterranean herbs and a typical contrast of sweet and bitter flavors.
In 1868, the recipe was gifted by the monk Frà Girolamo to the textile merchant Salvatore Averna as a token of gratitude for his commitment to the local community. He began producing it in his family farmhouse for guests in Xiboli. By the early 1900s, the recipe and business were passed to Salvatore’s son, Francesco Averna, who spread the word at fairs in Italy and abroad.
It was during a visit to King Umberto I in 1895 that Francesco was gifted a golden brooch with the Savoy House emblem to mark the drink’s ever growing status in Italy. In 1912, Vittorio Emanuele III bestowed Averna the right to print the royal coat of arms with the inscription “Royal Household Patent” on its bottle.
The 1920s was a difficult period, but in between two wars, Averna came at the hands of a woman. Francesco’s wife, Anna Maria, took the reigns of the business, who, along with her children, Salvatore, Paolo, Emilio and Michele, continued to expand the brand, reaching the American market. In 1958, Averna became a corporation (Fratelli Averna S.p.A.).
The heart of the Averna production, the infusion of herbs, is carried out in Caltanissetta, in central Sicily and bottled in the Gruppo Campari plant. It is made according to the traditional recipe that has remained unchanged since 1868 and that includes a lengthy infusion process that is undoubtedly one of the most unique and authentic in existence today.
The process begins by combining the specially selected herbs, roots and natural spices. Then all ingredients, such as pomegranates, and the essential oils of bitter oranges and lemons, are weighed, ground and lastly, mixed and infused with pure alcohol for an intense aromatic blend.
The liquid is then mixed with water and sugar until it reaches the right alcohol content, and is subsequently filtered and mixed with more of the same ingredients. The mixture is then left to stand until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Once the ideal intensity of taste and smell is reached, Averna is ready to be bottled and enjoyed.