Country of origin: Italy Alcohol content: 29% Alcohol by Volume
NOTE: NOT FOR SALE TO US/CANADA CUSTOMERS
Salvatore Averna was born in 1802 into a well to do family of textile merchants. He grew up in the industrious city of Caltanissetta and was both a Justice of the Peace and a benefactor of the Convent of St.Spirito’s Abbey. The friars of the Abbey produced a wonderfulherbal elixir following a secret recipe. Although the elixir tasted “bitter”, it was very good and, according to popular belief, it possessed some therapeutic qualities. In 1859, as a token of gratitude, the friars handed the recipe for the infusion over to Salvatore, and in 1868 he started the production for the Averna household guests.
It was Francesco Averna, Salvatore’s son, who made Averna well know by taking it to different fairs in Italy and abroad. By 1895, the Sicilian liqueur was already well-known. During a private visit to king Umberto I in the same year, Francesco received a golden brooch with the insignia of the Savoy House.
In 1912 Vittorio Emanuele III bestowed the Company Averna the right to print the royal coat-of-arms with the inscription “Royal Household Patent” on the bitter-liqueur label. Averna became the official supplier of the Royal Household. All these acknowledgements, over the years, led Francesco to re-design the first liqueur label by adding all these certificates and prizes. Francesco died quite early and his wife, Anna Maria, took the reins of the firm. Though she was soon helped by her young sons, she was an exceptional case of a female entrepreneur in the heart of Sicily during the early 20th century.
The third generation of the Averna family, i.e. Francesco’s sons: Salvatore, Paolo, Emilio and Michele, consolidated the success of the liqueur and contributed to the development of the company despite the strain of two world wars. The production not only continued at full steam but the brothers also managed to open up their export markets to America. In 1958, Averna became a public company (Fratelli Averna S.p.A.) and a few years later a new factory was built.
Since 1978 to the present day the Averna’s fourth generation still manages the company and continues its growth unabated.