Review: Calisaya Liqueur

Review: Calisaya Liqueur

A bittersweet amaro-style liqueur, Calisaya is made in an Italian style, but not in Italy — rather, in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

Not nearly as dark as most amaros, Calisaya is a deep orange, in keeping with its orange-inflected flavor. But the base of Calisaya is not distinctly orange but rather cinchona bark, a tree which offers bitter, quinine-type compounds and hails from Peru. Various other (unnamed) botanicals, sugar, and water are added to the blend, offering this 70 proof final product.

The flavor is intense, with sweet orange candies and serious bitterness playing together, with a thick, syrupy body that coats the throat. Secondary notes include brewed tea, almonds, and fruitcake/gingerbread characteristics.

All sounds interesting, and if Calisaya clung together a little better it would be a more pleasant product. It isn’t bad, but this concoction is frankly much too syrupy and unbalanced, its bitter flavors knocking out the sweet and spicy without much fuss. I’ll take Fernet over this any day.

Reviewed: Lot 93, from production year 2010. Not to be confused with Calisay, a Spanish liqueur.

70 proof.


Calisaya Liqueur





  1. Guilt-Free Drinks: Feed Body + Soul’s Organic Cocktails Program in Venice | on July 16, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    […] of research, but in the end, they found greener versions of every bar staple—from Campari (Calisaya) and curaçao (Marian Farmhouse) to amaro (S. Maria al Monte), absinthe (Ridge Distillery), […]

  2. Marilyn L. Escaner on July 24, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    how to buy this calisaya liquers

    • Christopher Null on July 25, 2019 at 8:42 am

      It is available at Total Wine stores.

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