How ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto Aperitivo Captures the Art Of Italy

From the moment you see the striking aquamarine-colored bottle of ITALICUS on the shelf, you can tell it’s something special. Inspired by a traditional Rosolio di Torino recipe, ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto takes you on a mesmerizing journey from Northern to Southern Italy, encapsulating the art and the creativity of la bella Italia in liquid form.

Dating back to the 15th century, Rosolio is the oldest aperitivo in the world. Grown, harvested, and distilled in Italy for centuries, the name comes from the Latin term “ros olis,” which loosely translates to “morning dew.” Traditionally, farmers would harvest ingredients for the spirit early in the morning when it was still cool, and the ingredients were thought to have a more impactful flavor. Incidentally, the botanicals would be coated in the morning dew, hence the name. Rosolio was enjoyed at royal parties as a “welcome” drink or “Aperitivo di Corte” (Aperitif of the Court), so much so that it became known as the “drink of kings.”

A relative newcomer to the spirits scene and modern interpretation of Rosolio, ITALICUS was created by Italian spirits expert Giuseppe Gallo. Inspired by a traditional “Rosolio of Turin” recipe from the 1800s, he imbued the recipe with his family’s interpretation, which adds bergamot citrus oils.

The brand officially made its debut in 2016 and quickly gained recognition for its unique approach to aperitivo liqueurs, winning the Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient category at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans less than a year later and a Gold Medal and designation as Italian Aperitif of the Year in 2021 by the New York International Spirits Competition.

The key ingredient within ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto is bergamot oranges. For those who may be unfamiliar, bergamots are like a cross between an orange and a lemon. In Italy, the oils from this citrus fruit are normally used in cosmetics, perfumes, or teas to provide a bright citrus aroma.

A Contemporary Iteration of Aperitivo

The bergamots used in ITALICUS are hand-selected and harvested unripe at the beginning of the season from a UNESCO-protected area in southwest Calabria. The peel of the unripe fruit, which is rich with essential oils, is dried for some time before the oils are ready for extraction through a process called sfumaturathe dried peels are immersed in cold water overnight before being pressed to release the essential oils, resulting in the distinct citrus and subtle floral flavors that characterize ITALICUS.

In addition to Calabrian bergamot, ITALICUS incorporates other native Italian botanicals like Sicilian citrons, chamomile, lavender, yellow roses, and lemon balm from Northern Italy that contribute to the liqueur’s complex and balanced flavor profile. It offers a harmonious combination of citrus, floral, and herbal notes; the spirit has a citrus nose with hints of lavender. On the palate, you’ll experience those ripe citrus fruits balanced with some light bitterness and floral spice.

A piece of Italy suspended in glass, the bottle for the spirit is also a nod to its roots. The spirit’s aquamarine-colored bottle represents Italy’s Amalfi Coast, and its stopper is emblazoned with the image of Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, and ”The Vitruvian Man,” a drawing by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, only in this version the man is holding bergamot fruits instead of grapes.

Drink Like Royalty

So how exactly does one drink a spirit celebrated by kings? While ITALICUS can certainly be enjoyed on its own over a few ice cubes, it was designed to be used in cocktails and specifically to bring something extra to the final result.

The low-ABV spirit is exceptionally versatile and can be used in everything from a spritz to a Margarita to a Negroni Bianco. The citrus, floral, and aromatic notes of the spirit can subtly enhance almost any classic cocktail and transform it into something spectacular.


ITALICUS cocktails

ITALICUS’s flavor profile makes it wonderful to enjoy, particularly in everyone’s favorite summer cocktail: the spritz. An ITALICUS Spritz is easy to whip up for a group of friends or for yourself on a summer day. The delicate citrus and aromatic notes of ITALICUS are lifted by the effervescence of the Prosecco to create a sophisticated cocktail you can enjoy out on the patio or inside long after the sun has gone down.


  • 1 ounce ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto
  • 2 ounces Prosecco or sparkling wine
  • Garnish: 3 green Nocellara olives 


  1. Pour an ounce of ITALICUS over ice into a wine glass.
  2. Add 2 ounces of Prosecco or sparkling wine to the glass.
  3. Garnish:  3 green Nocellara olives.

Pro tip: While the cocktail is traditionally made using Prosecco or sparkling wine, don’t be afraid to use a soda or drier tonic water for a low-alcohol alternative. The drink can even be made using a beer; an IPA makes a particularly interesting twist on the original.

ITALICUS Margarita

ITALICUS cocktails

ITALICUS can replace citrus liqueur in any cocktail, and one of the most common is the classic Margarita. Rather than using the traditional orange liqueur, ITALICUS can give the classic Margarita a Mediterranean twist with its unique bergamot citrus and aromatic profile.


  • 1 ounce ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto
  • 1 ounce blanco tequila
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 1 bar spoon of agave nectar
  • Garnish: green Nocellara olives


  1. Add the ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto, blanco tequila, lime juice, ice, and agave nectar to a shaker.
  2. Shake until fully incorporated, then strain into a coupe glass over ice.
  3. Garnish: green Nocellara olives

ITALICUS Negroni Bianco

ITALICUS cocktails

ITALICUS’ subtle bitterness gives an all-new approachable taste to a classic Negroni cocktail. Replacing the bitter liquor of a classic Negroni with ITALICUS’ aromatic and citrus profile, swapping in a dry white vermouth instead of a sweet one, and combining with a dry gin, is a refreshing-tasting take on the classic.


  • 1 ounce ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto
  • 1 ounce dry white vermouth
  • 1 ounce dry gin
  • Garnish: green Nocellara olives.


  1. Add the ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto, vermouth, and gin to a stirring glass.
  2. Stir until cold and diluted, then strain into a rocks glass over ice.
  3. Garnish: green Nocellara olives

This article is sponsored by ITALICUS Rosolio di Bergamotto.