Review: Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto Liqueur

Review: Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto Liqueur

Don’t let the transparent green bottle confuse you: This is not gin. Italicus is rather a new Italian citrus liqueur made from Bergamot oranges, created by barman Giuseppe Gallo, who gives a nod to the classic rosolio category (a liqueur derived from rose petals) by updating a classic 19th century recipe with his family’s own recipes. (The color and column is inspired by the Amalfi Coast.)

Despite the name, Italicus isn’t technically a rosolio or rose liqueur. Bergamot oranges are the key ingredient here, these coming from Calabria. Some details on how they’re used:

The process includes macerating its botanicals for about ten days. Calabrian bergamot oranges from a protected area of origin (IGP) extending from the Tyrrhenian Coast to the shores of the Ionian Sea, together with Sicilian citrons, are gently pressed in cold water. This is a long-lost process called sfumatura, which releases their essential oils. The mixture is then fortified with natural beet sugar, Italian neutral grain spirit and pure water. It is produced at Torino Distillati in Moncalieri, led by the Vergnano family of craft distillers since its founding in 1906.

So, let’s give it a try.

First, be clear that this may be made with oranges, but it’s still got plenty of rose-petal influence, with a distinctly floral nose that evokes both roses and orange blossoms. There’s a rosemary-like herbal quality beneath that, but the flowers do most of the talking here. The palate of the pale gold liqueur is lighter on the orange than I was expecting, offering a quite sweet but gently oily body that provides notes of tea leaf and an herbal component — more rosemary, thyme — that builds over time. There’s a very gentle bitterness on the finish that hints at Italian amari, but it’s not a primary focus of the spirit. As it stands, think of it more as a lower-alcohol, much more floral version of a triple sec — and my suggestion would be to use it in a similar fashion.

Italicus does suggest using the spirit in a type of spritz, mixing it 50:50 with Prosecco and serving over ice. For what it’s worth, I didn’t care for this construction at all, which ended up much too sweet for my tastes.

40 proof.


Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto Liqueur




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Jerry on February 22, 2019 at 6:44 am

    A bartender friend of mine suggested I try it with tonic, which was okay. I still have a half bottle and am trying to figure out something to mix it with to make it shine.

  2. Mia on January 7, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    Vodka, grapefruit and lime juice compliment the taste rather beautifully.

  3. Joe on July 4, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Try it with pear nectar, a good quality gin and splash of tonic. Excellent!

  4. Anonymous on August 11, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    A friend had it with a citrusy IPA and said it was great.

  5. Charlene Decker on December 28, 2020 at 1:22 am

    I usually just mix it with sprite or 7 up, about 1/2 to 3/4 italicus and just top it off.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.