A new Italian bitter liqueur mixing herbs, spices and fruits including maraschino cherries is to be launched by the company behind Hotel Starlino vermouths and aperitivos.
Stambecco Amaro is produced at the Vergnano family distillery, Torino Distillati, in Piedmont in north-eastern Italy and is made with 100% natural ingredients.
Master distiller Beppe Ronco has created the new liqueur with 30 botanicals such as sweet and bitter oranges, coriander seeds, marjoram, oregano, wormwood (also known as artemisia blend), cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg plus the “unique” addition of maraschino cherries.
At 35% ABV, Stambecco is smooth, fruity and rounded. It is being recommended for drinking neat on the rocks, as an ice-cold shot or in cocktails such as a twist on a Manhattan, substituting the vermouth with the amaro.
The brand has been created and launched internationally by fine wine and spirits company Biggar and Leith which specialises in importing products from good-quality, established and innovative family-owned distilleries. In April, it introduced Hotel Starlino’s Rosé, Arancione and Rosso vermouths, also made at Torino Distillati. It also created Malfy Gin, another spirit from the Vergnano family’s distillery.
Stambecco is the Italian word for the ibex, or long-horned mountain goat, which roams the Italian Alps near the distillery. To emphasise its provenance, the word “monte”, or mountain, is included on the label.
Stambecco is luxuriously packaged in a distinctive glass bottle, heavily embossed with raised bumps with a bright cherry-red stopper. The label is designed in a classic Italian graphic style with bold lettering and an image of the ibex.
Biggar and Leith founder Elwyn Gladstone said: “This approachable amaro has a complexity to the spirit which makes it perfectly suited for cocktails such as a ‘Stamhattan’ – a twist on the Manhattan – and it can also be enjoyed neat on the rocks or as an ice-cold shot.”
It will be available from Amazon and Proof Drinks in the UK from mid-August. It has a recommended price in retail of £25 for a 70cl bottle.
Tasting notes from Biggar & Leith
Appearance: chestnut brown with a slight tint of red.
Aroma: bright citrus notes with underlying spices of cinnamon and cardamom layered with cherry.
Taste: medium rich and medium sweet on the palate, with subtle bitter notes. Smooth, fruity and rounded.