For instance, Frangelico was first crafted by the monks of Italy’s northern Piedmont region, who took pride in the land’s bounty. There in the rolling hills, the friars — who also happened to be skillful distillers — created a sweet liqueur that would later become known as Frangelico. Similar to other nut liqueurs, Frangelico is ideal for seasonal cocktails thanks to its rich, toasted flavor — not to mention the fact that it’s crafted from the region’s finest hazelnuts. Read on for eight more fascinating facts about Frangelico.
The original recipe dates back hundreds of years.
Frangelico’s recipe is more than 300 years old. Legends say that the liqueur was first made by Christian monks living in the Piedmont region of Italy. The monks began making liqueurs using ingredients found on the land around them, including hazelnuts and other harvested items.
Frangelico’s name honors a charming hermit.
Furthering the lore of the monks, Frangelico is said to be named after a particular hermit who inhabited the Piedmont hills sometime during the 18th century. Friar Angelico, or Fra. Angelico, was among the group of monks known for their distilling skills and affinity for crafting liqueurs.
The secret sauce is top-quality nuts.
Frangelico has a complex flavor that is rich, sweet, creamy, and earthy, all thanks to high-quality hazelnuts. The brand prides itself on the use of the Tonda Gentile hazelnut, which is classified with a Protected Geographical Indication. This particular variety of hazelnut is locally grown and is well known for its large size and pronounced nutty flavor.
Frangelico’s bottle is shaped like a religious man.
The distinctly shaped bottle is hard to miss when scanning the shelves of liquor stores. Designed to resemble a Christian friar, complete with a rope and knotted white cord around the waist, the shape pays homage to the liqueur’s religious origins.
Frangelico has a famous liqueur family.
In 2010, spirit conglomerate Gruppo Campari added a few extra liqueurs to its renowned family. Finalized in September, the agreement included the acquisitions of Frangelico, along with Irish Mist Whiskey Honey Liqueur, and Carolans Irish Cream.
More than family, Frangelico and Campari make great cocktails.
Along with being a part of Campari’s impressive lineup, Frangelico also lends itself to cocktails made with the bitter red aperitivo. The hazelnut-flavored beverage can be used to spice up classic cocktails giving them an unexpected burst of sweetness. Use it in place of gin for an interesting twist on a Negroni or in the Campari and limoncello-based cocktail, the Bellissimo.
Frangelico is available in five different sizes.
Along with its standard 750-milliliter bottle, the sweet, nutty liqueur also comes in four other sizes. They include a whopping 1 liter and 1.75 liters, and two smaller versions: the 375 milliliter, and the smallest of the bunch, 50 milliliters. All are available in the U.S.
Frangelico’s production is one of a kind.
Production of Frangelico begins with the harvesting, toasting, and then crushing of hazelnuts. Once the large nuts have been pulverized, they are infused in a solution of alcohol and water to form a hazelnut-flavored distillate. This is then blended with spirits infused with other natural ingredients, such as cocoa seeds, vanilla pods, and roasted coffee. During the final step, the concentrated liquid is blended with pure alcohol before its resting and bottling period.