Rossa Sicily’s Etna Bitter Review And Tasting Notes
Rossa Sicily’s Etna Bitter is an excellent wine flavored with oranges, honey, almonds, and aromatic herbs, all played on the aromas of Sicily.
Indeed of a slice of Sicily, since the honey comes from the hives placed at the foot of the volcano, the oranges, and the wine, from the trees that grow on the volcano’s slopes. And the wine could only be Carricante, the king of Etna’s white wines.
It is a multifaceted and intense product: you can use it as aromatic bitters to give a touch of aromaticity to your cocktails. Or you can use it as vermouth and serve it with soda and a slice of orange or even mixed in classic cocktails, such as Americano, Boulevardier, or Sazerac.
The confusion is because it looks like sweet vermouth to the nose and the color, but in reality, it has a bitter and citrusy look that does not leave much room (fortunately) for sweetness and softness.
How is Rossa Sicily’s Etna Bitter made?
It starts with a very alcoholic base of Carricante wine in which natural and botanical aromas such as orange blossom honey, oranges and citrus fruits, spices, aromatic herbs, dragon’s tail, and other secret ingredients are macerated. No other alcohol or brandy is added, but only Carricante wine. After maceration, it is sugared and bottled.
The splendid nose is a whirlwind between light and shadows, wood and sea, citrus and herbs, eucalyptus, mint, more austere medicinal tones, and honey and flowers.
Almonds are the common thread and hold everything together with a sumptuous scent. We could stay here for hours talking and enumerating the infinite aromas of this splendid flavored wine, but we don’t want to become fetishists.
But let’s say without fear of denial that it is a small artisan masterpiece sculpted with a chisel. Each perfume is weighed, dosed, and carefully tied to a credible and tasty aromatic framework due to a great wine.
On the other hand, as already mentioned, the alcoholic base is Carricante wine, so we are not talking about a tasteless wine but one of the great protagonists of Sicilian enology.
It is bitter, pungent on the palate, and supported by herbaceous flavors that relax, creating a splendid aromatic trail.
The balsamic flavors of olive and Mediterranean scrub are combined with a macerated, medicinal reminder of great depth.
The balance is good, kept in tension by citrus fruits, but the tone is bitter, mentholated, and leaves no room for much sweetness—incredible persistence.
How to serve Rossa Sicily’s Etna Bitter
You can serve it as an aperitif with a splash of soda, a slice of orange, and a lemon peel squeezed on top. Or neat as a digestive.
What cocktails to make
Splendid the Amaro Mule, its most successful incarnation, but you can also use it as a substitute for Angostura and Orange bitter or any bitter. Try it to make mythical cocktails like Negroni, Brooklyn, Old Pal, and Old Fashioned.
24-26 euros: an honest price for a lashing and courageous product that manages to enclose the Etna terroir. If you think it’s too expensive, you don’t deserve it; go back to drinking milkshakes with Montenegro. But don’t say that there are no incredible products, that large-scale distribution dominates, that there are no artisans of good drinking.