A bittersweet aperitivo liqueur made from 23 botanicals, most of them grown near Lake Garda and around the historic city of Verona; others cultivated and shipped from the south of Italy and some, like Chinese rhubarb root, from around the world. Botanicals include olive and lemon tree leaves, linden and acacia flowers, wild rose berries, sweet and bitter orange, absinthe, gentian, and ginger. All infusions are done individually, blended according to Elisa’s recipe and then rested for a short time in a small oak cask. Light filtration is performed with a paper filter to preserve color and aroma. No chemicals or artificial coloring are used.
Though the category is dominated by more traditional red bitters, Sirene is characterized by a beautiful golden-auburn hue. The flavor is soft and warming but not overly sweet. The floral and herbal botanicals play off of each other and the kina and gentian surface on the finish, which is long and balanced with notes of salted caramel and vanilla.
Sirene Bitter is wildly versatile and works in a wide variety of different cocktails. Some people enjoy using it as you would the traditional red variety: on the rocks with soda as an aperitivo; in a Negroni or Boulevardier; or it can also be enjoyed as you would an amaro, at the end of a meal as a traditional Italian digestivo. Other good pairings include ginger beer, bergamot, or grapefruit soda.