Flavoured with 40 botanicals, collected from four different continents, the complete recipe of Amaro Montenegro has remained a secret and unchanged since it was originated by Stanislao Cobianchi in 1885. Today, the Master Herbalist oversees production just as Stanislao did who created the recipe over 130 years ago.
Amaro Montenegro begins its production process with the milling of the botanicals that are then mixed in water and boiled. The botanicals are then macerated in an aqueous-alcoholic solution for 20-30 days to allow their aromas and complex flavours to develop. These botanical blends are then distilled in the 1,000 litre copper pot still.
This maceration and distillation process produces 12 mother essences which are blended to create six tasting notes: bitter & herbaceous; spicy & floral; sweet & roasted; fresh & balsamic; fruity & vegetal; warm & tropical. The 40 botanicals used are a closely guarded secret but the following key botanicals and the flavour profile they impart has been revealed:
Sweet: Cinnamon, Clove and Nutmeg
Citrusy: Sweet and bitter orange peels
Bitter and herbaceous: Blend of Artemisia (wormwood), Marjoram, Coriander seeds and Oregano
Then alcohol, water and sugar are added. The final step of the process sees "a drop" of Il Premio (meaning 'prize' in Italian) added to the blend. Produced by a micro-distillation of five botanicals, this Il Premio adds the final and all-important taste element to Amaro Montenegro. Incredibly, the volume of Il Premio in the finished amaro equates to just one litre in every 15,000 litres produced but is fundamental to the recipe.