Today’s post is about Braulio, which is a well-known brand from Lombardy, specifically from the Valtellina region and the town of Bormio. The brand is now owned by the Campari Group.
Braulio has a distinctly alpine flower note that characterizes it and also hints of sage. Braulio has a long history that started with Francesco Peloni, the chemist who created the recipe for this Amaro in 1875.
Amaro, which means bitter in Italian, is a beverage that first became famous starting in the latter half of the 1800s. It is an infusion of herbs, roots, flowers, bark and at times citrus and other elements. The herbs are macerated and then distilled. Some age in oak casks while others in the bottle.
Each brand is usually made according to a traditional recipe that they often keep a secret. A few actually still used recipes that were handed down to them from the monasteries that first produced these kinds of liqueurs that used to be known as elixirs. In fact, the Amaro category was initially a medicinal beverage used to cure aliments, often of the digestive track. It was the Arabs who first brought the technique of infusions and distillation to Europe.
Starting in the mid-1800s, these liqueurs were used as a digestif drink after a large meal. For the next two centuries in Italy, Amaro was consumed in this way or in an espresso in the morning. It is often drunk neat or on the rocks. Amaro is usually between 17-35 proof.
Each Amaro is made with a particular blend of herbs, roots and flowers, which can be found locally and make this a classic example of a “terroir-driven” beverage.
According to the Compari website, “Amaro Braulio is obtained by the infusion of plants, roots and aromatic alpine herbs and by a two-year ageing process in sessile oak-barrels, its alcohol content is 21%.