The berber liqueur

  • Plant: Barberry (Berberis Vulgaris)
  • Plant part: fruit
  • Plant feauters: astringent, tonic, stomachic expectorant, purifying, antiseptic, antidiarrheal, refreshing, thirst-quenching, hemostatic, bitter, gall producer , vasoconstrictor, mouthwashing
The berber liqueur
  • Description:

    "... They are red, flaming, similar to the pomegranate grains with vinegarish flavour. With these it makes wine and call it Berber wine which is really much more sour ... " So Mattioli described the characteristics of the fruit of barberry, a shrub that was commonly known by the name of Berberis because it was thought that it came from the northern part of Africa inhabited by the Berber people. Another interpretation is that the name Berberis derives from the Greek name "Berbers", which means shell or oyster, because of the resemblance of its flowers with trough-shaped petals, with a set of shells.

    Beyond these more or less exact interpretations about the etymological origin of the scientific term of Barberry, the fact is that it was just called by Linnaeus under the name of Berberis vulgaris L. Concerning the statement of Mattioli on the use of the fruits, it is to say that the fruit was always used for preparing refreshing and thirst-quenching beverages and syrups. The reason lies in the fact that the fruit itself contains a significant amount of organic acids which issue to the fruit and also to his preparations a characteristic slightly sour flavour. The same taste will be find in a Grappa flavoured with its own fruits, provided that these are collected during the fall, when they are ripe, and are left to macerate until they leave to Grappa their characteristic red-coppery colour.

  • Note:

    Contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding

The recipe

  • Ingredients:

    - one glass fruits
    - 1 liter of grappa
    - one slice of lemon (at pleasure)
    - one ice cube (at pleasure)

  • Preparation:

    To achieve the purpose, just put in a litre of good Grappa a glass of fruits and, once reached the desired colouring, ripened it for three months.
    It is a typical refreshing liqueur to drink in summer with addition of fresh water, of an ice cube and a slice of lemon.

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Poli Distillerie and
Poli Grappa Museum


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