The production of Amaro at Cantine Pellegrino is intertwined with the story of Oscar Pierre Despagne, an important French distiller and winemaker from Sauternes (France) who worked for many years in Cognac. He came to Sicily and started producing amaro in the late 19TH century.
At that time Marsala was one of the most dynamic wine producing regions in the Mediterranean. Despagne arrived in 1895 as a consultant for Cantine Pellegrino. In fact, his daughter, Josephine, who always followed her father on his trips, fell in love with Carlo Pellegrino, the founder of the cellar. The two married a few years after and the collaboration between Despagne and Pellegrino became not only a business venture, but a family affair.
Since his arrival in Sicily, Despagne was fascinated by the many medicinal herbs, spices and essences he found on the island. Many of them arrived in the Mediterranean from the Americas, Asia and Africa and would eventually make their way to different European countries. Marsala, as a principal port in Sicily for centuries, had a particularly rich library of flora to study and experiment with. Over time, Despagne combined his passion and knowledge of the local herbs with his deep understanding of infusion and liqueur production. It was common at that time for the "Master" of the Winery to also fill the role of a distiller. The development of Pellegrino’s Amaro was a long and laborious process. It required a few years of experimentation before reaching the perfect balance between flavor and taste. From generation to generation, the Pellegrino family has jealously kept the secret of the original Amaro recipe. Over a century after its creation, Pellegrino Amaro is still produced from a long, slow maceration in alcohol of more than twenty medicinal herbs and essences.
This Amaro combines its typically Sicilian essence with balsamic and aromatic scents typical of the Mediterranean bushes, with unique notes of bitter oranges, mint, cocoa, licorice and toasted coffee.
Amaro can be served cold, on the rocks or at room temperature. Ideal for fresh, delicious cocktails.