Region: Campania

Liqueurs since 1920

Since 1920 the Cola family, in San Giuseppe Vesuviano, has been manufacturing the typical liqueurs of Naples. Nocillo, Anisetta, Limoncello, Cordiale… are just some of the specialties that are produced in their laboratory and sold throughout Campania. The colas, however, keep for themselves, and for a few friends, one of the most particular products, a herbal amaro, inspired by a recipe from Ischia. The Amaro d’erbe di Ischia recipe dates back to the second half of the eighteenth century, developed by a Franciscan monk. The Friars Minor, present on the island since 1225, are skilled liquorists and Amaro is one of their specialties. However, years have passed and the original recipe is no longer known, perhaps lost when the friars, by order of the French government which then controlled the kingdom of Naples, were forced to leave their convent. The versions of “amaro di Ischia” present are sometimes very different from each other. One of the colas, Arcangelo, of the second generation of Vesuvian liquorists, is fascinated by the extraordinary story of the recipe of the friars of Ischia, their ability with stills and herb infusions. His dream is to recover the original formulation. Years later, he confessed to having spent more than a sleepless night in an attempt to reconcile the most accredited variations of recipes with the herbs and spices actually available in Ischia, at the end of the eighteenth century.


1969 AMARISCHIA is born

However, it was only at the end of the 1960s that Arcangelo Cola, determined to spread the amaro to the general public as well, dedicated his soul and body to the search for the original recipe. Studies in libraries, trips to ancient monasteries, passionate comparisons with expert liquorists, and real strokes of luck, finally allow him to recover the ancient formulation of the bitter liquor of an Ischian monk, the authentic one, the original handed down over the years without undergo changes. The result is surprising, an Amaro that preserves the aromas and flavors of the island, reconciling the astringent, bitter aftertaste, typical of herbal bitters, with a certain sweetness that does not displease even the most demanding palates. 

At that moment the AMARISCHIA was born, the bitter enough! So convinced of the success of the recovery of the ancient product that Arcangelo Cola decides to give this name not only to the liqueur, but also to the same company he founded with the purpose, the mission we would say today, of producing and distributing the extraordinary bitter. A choice that communicates to employees, suppliers and customers, painstakingly takes care of all details, oversees all processes, from the selection of aromas to bottling and canning, ensuring fidelity to the formulation, the originality of the design of the bottle is the result of a month of selections, choices and second thoughts. Above all, he pretends that we expect a simple dictate: quality of ingredients, fidelity to the recipe.

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