Hi Giovanni, thank you so much for your time and availability to offer us and our followers to get to know your company and Amaro Ménnula. First of all tell me how the company is made up, how the idea of producing liqueurs was born and every detail about your history and the place where you produce.
Preparing an Amaro is a rather simple operation, but creating a precious Amaro with a great character is an ambition and an intuition! It is necessary to be able to recognize the quality ingredients, research the union and wire with the essence, this is what my partner and I have tried to do to create an excellent product but we leave to our consumer friends, define if Amaro Ménnula can become a product of excellence! Before telling you about the Amaro, let’s take a step back, from where and how this story begins. Me, Giovanni, and my friend in life and business partner Antonio, we are born as restaurateurs. He is a son of art, his father and grandfather were great chefs in the Sicilian landscape. 14 years ago we inaugurate a new restaurant, where the peculiarity was the traditional Sicilian cuisine revisited in a modern key, using local products and part of our homemade production. This restaurant is located in ten hectares of green, where for almost one hectare is cultivated with almond trees. The use of almond was initially only aimed at our dishes, but later became the key element of a new Amaro project. We started to create an infusion of our almonds, trying to combine it with some herbs… hence the beginning of the project Amaro Ménnula (in Sicilian slang means almond).
Yours is a highly natural production that uses quality raw material produced at home against all those who produce Amari using food and industrial flavorings. What does your company do to respect the surrounding environment during production?
Today the processing methods are traditional but made with cutting-edge technologies in respect of the environment and we can guarantee the km0 and the autoctonicity of the raw materials. Our Amaro Ménnula is characterized by a unique sensorial aromatic profile and the pleasant sugar residue that makes it slightly sweet and with a delicious almond note. The different raw materials, at the base of our Amaro, come from Sicilian farms, including ours, located near the place of production.
I would like to know more about the Amaro Ménnula, can you please describe its production and the type of botanicals that compose it up to the bottling and labeling?
We chose our botanicals very carefully: few people know that the artemisia in addition to the known health properties is a grass easy to find so as to be considered infesting in some cases… this is what we psychologically wanted to transmit: Ménnula must spread spontaneously and “infest” the market of ammazzacaffè. The citrus sinensis is the rinds of sweet oranges so vulgarly called from which we extract the lemony insipitator that we find in nature and which gives our bitterness a further belonging to the territory. Finally we chose to use the gentiana that we implanted in a land of our property not far from the slopes of Etna, in Sicily does not grow spontaneously but only on the alpine areas, but we needed something that gave the characteristic bitter taste and at the same time that goes well with other sensory aromatic choices… It was a surprise for us that the plants came up beautiful and strong, it was almost a bet with nature that we won thanks to this combination of ingredients. But the exclusive touch was however given by our almonds. Even here, a bit to emphasize the taste we have experienced this soaking for days with our bitter almonds and we got a combination of emotions but above all intentions… A real Amaro with Sicilian character.
Sicily is a land of production of many and very good Amari with an average higher than the rest of Italy, how difficult it is to invent a product that can overcome the local competition, especially for innovation and diversity to then position itself on the national market creating curiosity in the final consumer?
Adhering to the philosophy of our cuisine and our dishes, we imagined a bitter taste that expressed a strong sense of territoriality, this is the reason why we called it Ménnula, in Sicilian dialect, but dressed with a young and modern label, which represents the Sicily young and current.
The Amaro Ménnula comes from an old legend and a recipe of a distant past brought back to the present in a wonderful way… what are your goals for the future?
Many are our objectives, but first of all, it is affirmed our self and the Amaro in the scenario of regional and national liqueurs, always remaining a product of craftsmanship made and considered in the niche market, thus excluding large retailers.
Your Amaro is a really pleasant product not only for the palate but also as a perfect ingredient for classic, modern and exotic drinks. The Amaro Obsession Team does its utmost to spread this word to professionals and amateurs, but as producers what you would like to say to bartenders or chefs or to all the professionals who follow us, how to best use your product in the kitchen or behind a cocktail bar?
We always try to imagine our Amaro, mixed together with other liqueurs for the creation of drinks and cocktails, or protagonist of new dishes and recipes, but we leave to the professionals of the bartenders and chefs sector, the use in the best possible way of Ménnula, sure that will live up to enhance the taste of our product.