don ciccio cerasum

I cannot tell a lie… cherry flavors are one of my cocktailing secret weapons. They play well with gin, they play well with brown liquor, they play well with bubbly wine.

Which brings us to Cerasum Apertivo, the newest bottling by D.C.’s increasingly prolific maker of amari and cordials, Don Ciccio & Figli. And yes, D.C. does have a notable connection to all things cherry. But this spirit wasn’t just hatched for the benefit of blossom-peeping tourists. No, like many of Don Ciccio’s concoctions, this one comes from an old recipe passed down through the family of its founder, Francesco Amodeo.

Dating from 1906, this recipe uses not only tart cherries, but also the aforementioned blossoms and a botanical blend, which incorporates some juniper but remains mostly shrouded in secrecy. (The spirit world has its own version of omerta.)

It’s those botanicals and bittering agents that hit your palate first, not unlike your first sip of Aperol. Think grapefruit peel and aged black tea and you’re on the right track. Then the cherries start to take hold, more round than overtly sweet.

Living somewhere in between a maraschino liqueur and Cherry Heering, Cerasum Apertivo may not be the kind of liqueur you’d want to sip on the rocks. But an ounce of it would do wonders in a flute of champagne. And take it from me: It makes a helluva Boulavardier.

★★★

Stats:
— 23% ABV
— $36


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