The producer, which goes by the full name Antica Erboristeria Cappelletti, was first established in 1909. For most of their first century they were located in the historic Piazza Fiera in the center of Trento. Today they are located 20 km south of Trento in Aldeno, surrounded by vineyards and apple orchards. As the name would suggest, the firm was and is still today focused on products from traditional herbs, roots and flowers. They achieved fame in the region for their productions of amari and aperitivi, including the classic red bitter Aperitivo Cappelletti. All production is done in house by the fourth generation of the family, Luigi and Maddalena Cappelletti.
Perhaps the most earnest of digestivi, Elisir Novasalus is revered in Alto Adige and regions beyond. Made by an Erboristeria (master of botanicals) and trader in wines, it combines in a six-month process the plants from the surrounding high alps (Alto Adige) with a dry Marsala and a unique tree sap of Sicily. The resulting amaro is bold, bitter and exceptionally complex, with layers upon layers of flavor. Famously comforting after a large meal. While not traditionally mixed, it is nicely followed by a small glass of sparkling wine. Unrivalled in its palate effect, it makes for a perfect finish to a meal.
Traditionally, Novasalus was never mixed; however, a drop, dash or drizzle adds remarkable complexity to drinks with sweeter profiles. When drinking Novasalus, the real fun is after the first sip. The acidity of the Marsala base washes over the palate, bringing herbal and ginger notes with it. Every sip is different; this digestivo draws drinkers in rather than putting them to sleep.
ABOUT VINO AMARO
Outside of the “big three” of wormwood, gentian, and quinine, herbalists worldwide have used many flavors as the backbones of aromatized wines. Many of these wines no longer exist, and many of those flavorings have moved into spirit-based amari and liqueurs. A few examples of “vino amaro,” or wine-based amaro, still exist, and use herbal flavors that are harmonious and familiar to traditional drinkers worldwide. Because of their wine base, these products have vinous texture and a depth of flavor that add a welcome breadth when used in mixed drinks.
- From the Importer, Haus Alpenz
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