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“The Garden of Earthly Delights”, a magical painting of decadence and desire, intoxicating free and full of mystery, is set in a theatrical paradise. It was created between 1490 and 1510 by the Early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch, and is described as a moral warning of paradise lost.
In essence, many ancient fruits, herbs and spices have disappeared in times of squander, as has knowledge of how to use natural elements of healing in the first pharmaceuticals we now call liqueurs. It is our desire to resurrect and preserve our earthly paradise in a variety of artisanal spirits and uphold respect for those who paved the way before us. We recognize all of the great-great grandparent’s contributions and consider them artists, and we raise our glass in praise of liqueurs. Salute!
VICARIO Gin is the latest, hot off the press (literally, it is pressed!) VICARIO Earthly Delight. You can find it at our micro-distillery and farm in Greer, SC when you plan your visit.
Vicario Gin is predominately made with hand-crushed, blue-black fleshy seed cones of Juniperus communis, commonly known as "juniper berries". Estate grown lavender, estate grown rosemary, and estate grown lemon verbena intertwined with hints of coriander, citrus peel, cardamom, and other botanical herbs and spices, create its unique aromatic herbal flavor profile. The history and mythology of the juniper tree is as vast as its natural worldwide northern range. From ancient Egypt to Western Europe to the indigenous peoples of North America and even in Tibet, Juniper was used to protect the journeyman from evil and danger, and shield the entry of the home. Renewing the ritual, these essences travel through the senses like an excursion in an evergreen forest, fragrant of flowers, in the course of a spring rain.
Erontades, or “love seekers” in ancient times, took great risks to gather the pink blossoms of Dittany, a flowering origanum of the mint family on the rocky terrain of the White Mountains and chasms on the island of Crete. Tenderly made with several estate grown aromatic herbs, including Dittany of Crete, Amore Mio Aperitivo follows tradition, but the reddish color comes from the Roselle blossoms, a hibiscus native to West Africa, not artificial colors. Historically, the aperitivo custom dates back to the Egyptians and Romans, and opens the door to the time of day spent with close friends and lovers, when the work day is finished and the joy of the evening is just beginning.
Estate grown and harvested by hand artichoke leaves from our family owned farm in Cortona Italy, aged in oak and finished in South Carolina, create an extremely interesting liqueur. As with all Vicario liqueurs, there is no caramelized sugar nor color additives, just fresh herbs and spices, aged to perfection. Artichoke leaves bring a floral, and grassy flavor that dissipates into a persuasive bitterness in this deeply delightful liqueur.
Prepared for the acute enthusiast Vicario Black Labeled Liqueurs appease even those very persistent palates.
Harvested by hand, from Moon Hare Gardens in Greer, SC, our estate grown herb Artemisia dracunculus, gives the name to Dragoncello (literally Little Dragon).
The herb, known to many as French Tarragon, has been cultivated from Ancient Greeks to Thomas Jefferson as it was known for its healing properties for the stomach and liver.
Improved immensely by ageing, this exotic liqueur redolent of spices, faint traces of anise and licorice, scented and aromatic, never coy but enticing, is well served after a meal or alongside biscotti or ice creams, and can be used in fine patisserie baking.
AWARDS: Good Food Award, 2016 and 2019, Fifty Best Double Gold Award.
Herba Luisa, Aloysia triphylla, (also called Lemon Verbena), our liqueur is named after Maria Luisa, the Princess of Parma and wife of King Carlos IV of Spain, was brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 17th century from Argentina and Chile. Historically it was used as a calming stomachic for hundreds of years on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
The intense natural lemony scent of our liqueur may also add flavor to sauces for fish and poultry dishes, vegetable marinades, salad dressings, jams, puddings or sorbet. Refreshing with soda water over ice.
Made completely from estate grown fresh herbs at our farm in Greer, SC.
A very unusual liqueur with an ancient history, which in ancient times was given as a tonic to the visitors of a famous Umbrian temple dedicated to Jupiter Apennine. There is even a reference in Dante’s Divine Comedy (Paradise XXI, 117) when Dante meets a blazing soul, St. Peter Damian, who once worshiped God in the monastery of Santa Croce di Forte Avellana. In his meditation there, he was happy to live on a diet of vegetables and olive liqueur.
Created with tender spring leaves from ancient olives, estate grown at our family farm at Villa Sant’Andrea, Cortona, Italy, and finished with lemon in South Carolina, this fresh and delicate amaro is versatile and delightful. Serve it at room-temperature, or chilled in summer or even heated over on a slice of lemon in winter. It pairs well with ice cream or crepes and can be used to create new interesting cocktails.
Vicario's Signature Amaro
“Quintessence” can be defined in modern day physics as a hypothetical form of dark energy, but, according to ancient and medieval science, the “fifth essence” is the pure essence that the gods breathed. Aristotle said that since it was located in the celestial regions and heavenly bodies, it moved circularly. The word Quintessence became synonymous with elixirs, medicinal alchemy, and the philosopher’s stone itself.
Conjured by herbs and spices from around the world, Quintessence’s deeply complex characteristics invoke divine satisfaction. Drink it neat after dinner, or hot drink with a piece of lemon peel. It refreshes in summer when added to a sparkling mineral water over ice.
2016 San Francisco Spirits Competition Bronze Medal Award Winner
Every year, in the month of June, as tradition prescribes, unripe green walnuts coming from the best walnut orchards in Italy create an infusion fit for the gods. According to the Romans, the gods feasted on walnuts, and therefore, walnuts were thrown by the groom to wedding guests to bring good health, increase fertility, and to keep disease away.
Sip slowly. Its strong personality makes it perfect for drinking at room temperature, preferably at the end of a meal, as it has excellent properties, but it is also fresh when drunk chilled or on the rocks or poured over vanilla ice cream. Chefs will appreciate the unique dishes they may create from our Nocino, a tradition profoundly linked to Modena Italy, where it represents a veritable symbol of hospitality, with a rich and full-bodied bouquet. Direct to Consumer, CONTACT Us for information or Contact Cordial Fine Wine and Spirits in Washington DC to order.
"Dark, inky brown, with a savory, herbaceous scent. The flavor surprises with a spicy burst up front, with leads to cola, amaro-like bitterness, and a rounded, mouthwatering finish accented with vanilla, clove and allspice. There's a pronounced alcohol kick; seems ideal as a warming post-prandial sipper."
"Amaro is a spirit that not only encourages, but requires consumers to become intimately familiar with each brand's methods and history. While bitterness is an integral component of amaro, it is but one factor that contributes to a quality end product. " -Bartender Alex Bachman of Billy Sunday in Chicago.
Monastery brew houses and elixir distillers from different religious orders have been in existence all over Europe since the early Middle-Ages. Beyond being a place of worship, their gardens provided guests, and the inhabitants, food and medicinal plants. The Cistercians, Benedictines, and Trappists were part of a network of religious houses which exchanged ideas and procedures but also kept a few secrets. After careful reading of ancient monastic texts, we crafted this maceration of over 15 aromatic herbs and spices and named it after these famous monastic orders.
It is an exquisitely round and exotic liqueur, a relaxing yet powerful and excellent digestive.
The Wine Enthusiast rates Vicario Monk's Secret Liqueur
"This liqueur, which appears to be loosely inspired by Chartreuse, has a dull green olive-oil hue and a concentrated aroma that's like inhaling a slightly bruised bouquet of fresh herbs, including mint and lemon verbena. Thick and viscous in the glass, look for an intense anise sweetness up front and a stingingly spicy finish, like jalapeño and menthol."
The Wine Enthusiast Spirits Editor, Kara Newman
In the mountains of Ethiopia, the ancestors of the Oromo people around the 10th century tended goats on the Horn of Africa. Legends say their goats ate the berries of the native coffee trees and danced with ecstasy. Kaldi, a goat herder, took the fruits to a monk, but the monk disapproved and threw them into the fire, that secreted a beautiful aroma. Raked from the embers, and dissolved in hot water, the beans produced the first cup of coffee.
Obtained from well roasted Arabica beans, the distinguished aromas of the Vicario liqueur blends coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and earthy spices, into a persistently well-balanced after dinner drink, a congenial complement for desserts or cocktails.
Historically, the traditional medicinal extract was made with chinchona bark and a blend of aromatic herbs as per the ancient recipe against malaria and other ailments, Quina has a spicy aroma with notes of coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel.
Our liqueur, made with carefully monitored quantities of chinchona bark, and with citrus, aromatic and balsamic flavors, and can be enjoyed neat, at the end of a meal, on the rocks for summer pleasure or hot with a twist of lemon to fight winter colds. Try it frozen in ice trays and served with your favorite dark chocolate desert. Vicario Black Labeled Liqueurs are prepared for the acute enthusiast.
The splendor of the Seville sour orange is not the bulbous dimpled skin, but how the particularly tart orange zest gives new life to so many cuisines, especially to our liqueur.
It distinguishes itself from other citrus with a spicy blossom fragrance that blends savory to sweet with an exotic perky twang. Marinate Ceviche or Suckling Pig, or pair with desserts like vanilla custard or sorbetto. The liqueur adapts to many uses.
The spiny evergreen is native to Vietnam, but is now grown throughout the Mediterranean region and the world. Perhaps the most pleasing way to use it is in a cocktail, splashed into Gin and Tonic, or transform a Mojito by replacing the lime with Seville Orange liqueur.
We proudly source our oranges from The Orange Shop in Citrus Florida, one of the last family owned fruit growers in the state.
Synonymous of well-being and pleasure. Glycyrrhiza glabra, the licorice plant, finds its optimal geological and weather conditions in Calabria, a region in Southern Italy, where we source our ingredients.
Licorice, a legume with sweet roots, is long and delightful as a liqueur. The taste is far removed from commercial impostors. Vicario Black Labeled Liqueurs are prepared for the acute enthusiast.
2016 Silver Award Winner, San Francisco Spirits Competition.
Visciole, an antique variety of wild sour cherry, grew wild on our family farm property at Villa Sant'Andrea, in Cortona, Italy, and we planted a small orchard of these marvelous Slow Food Ark of Taste fruits. On the verge of disappearing, the Visciole di Cantiano variety never developed much of a commercial presence as they are fragile, need to be hand-picked, are consumed by flocks of birds the moment they become ripe, and spoil quickly. We think it is the best cherry overall for liqueur making, and so we monitor them closely, and collect them just before the birds descend.
Outstandingly intense cherry flavors, very limited quantities.
Food Republic January 6, 2016 by Virginia Miller 2015: Best Drinking Experiences. The Ones We Remember. Southern Edition.
Virginia writes of Edmund’s Oast in Charleston, South Carolina, "Thanks to head bartender Jayce McConnell, the place also excels at cocktails, such as the Olde Thyme Punch or the classic Chatham Artillery Punch on draft, and Mountains of Madness, combining Vicario Savage Cherry liqueur, Stranahan’s whiskey and a blend of three amari, chocolate and aromatic bitters. It’s dusted with an amaro powder McConnell makes himself, adding a textural, herbal kick. 1081 Morrison Dr., Charleston, SC 29403; edmundsoast.com
— Virginia Miller
Myrtus communis, sacred to the goddesses Aphrodite, the ancient Greeks used the myrtle to encircle the head of the winners in games thus the plant became the symbol of glory and happy love.
The tradition of Mirto Liqueur, famous on the island of Sardinia, arrived by way of bandits from Gallura who took it from nearby Corsica. They were forbidden by law to transport the shrub. The Corsicans used it mostly for seasoning venison, while the Sardinians developed liqueurs for hundreds of years.
Estate grown Myrtle lines ancient walls, remnants of a medieval hospital, at our family farm Villa Sant’Andrea in Cortona, Italy, still considered a healing place of the soul for those who visit.
Harvested by hand in autumn, the liqueur is finished in South Carolina.
2016 Silver Award Winner San Francisco Spirits Competition.
Enchantingly musical, this captivating amaro begins with a special blend of roots, barks and herbs. Sweetened with organic Appalachian Mountain honey, it is opalescent, warm, and delightful.
An intensely bitter-sweet tonic taste leads into an aroma of white currents, rhubarb, and spices that create the crescendo while the tannins persist like a bass drum. At the conclusion, the aromas of fruit, chestnuts, vanilla and coffee create an incredibly long finish.
It is purposely unfiltered, to retain the complete aromas of the herbs and spices used in its preparation. You will go on a journey from sweet and floral scents to an intense herbal finish. Enjoy it at any time of day, perfect on its own after a meal, or on the rocks; it can also be an innovative ingredient for cocktails.
The Wine Enthusiast Rates Vicario Sorcerer's Song Liqueur
"This liqueur is rusty orange in the glass, with an aroma that suggests horehound and orange peel. The palate reads as sherried, with honey, dried apricot and baking spice, plus burnt orange peel bitterness on the finish. The producer recommends it as a hot drink in winter."
The Wine Enthusiast Spirits Editor, Kara Newman