There was no way we could leave a family or friend’s house before tasting a touch of home-made rosolio. I know you are asking what the heck is a rosolio.
Let’s go back in time: Renaissance Italy 1400. Monks and most respectful families engaged in a practice of adding flavors to distilled water to cure simple ailments and to help digestion after a heavy meal. The flavors came from experiments of macerating herbs, plant roots, flowers and seasonal fruit, sometimes mixing some species together and sometimes using them singularly. Sundew, a particular carnivorous plant considered aphrodisiac attracted so much interest during Renaissance time that became the main ingredient for rosa solis, a cordial liqueur of a pretty bright yellow. Flecks of pearls and real gold to attract energy from the sun enriched the mixture. Nothing but the best for rich and nobles! The word rosolio originated from the predecessor rosa solis. By 1700 the entire Europe was enthralled with spirited drinks served in dainty glasses that became a social recreation more than medicinal purposes.
It’s hard to get rid of something that makes us feel good, therefore this social habit continued to these days and digestive drinks (after dinner drinks) were born.
In Europe is still very common to find cordials in most households. They are generally made of seasonal fruits and served straight out of the bottle, no ice, no water added to the glass. Just like during the Renaissance, a cordial drink is always served in a small and dainty glass that one holds by the foot of the glass, or by the lower part of the stem. This is not a drink that goes down in one shot, sipping and savoring is the way to go while enjoying the company. It forces us to have cultivated manners.
(Photo from my book: ©Sins Of A Queen – Italian Appetizers and Desserts)
There is still time to produce this delightful Strawberry Liqueur and have a taste of a home-made stiffener during the holidays. My clients get an array of original food I produce in the most natural way and not found in any stores.
34 fluid oz. of pure alcohol 90° proof
17.5 oz. of strawberries
34 fluid oz. of water
24.5 oz. of sugar
Wash strawberries, take out leaves and stems.
Place the strawberries in a glass jar with a lid that closes hermetically, pour in the alcohol and let them macerate for at least 30 days. Gently turn the jar up side down every three days and return it to the up right position.
After 30 days, make a simple syrup with water and sugar. Bring it to a boil and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar is melted.
Let it cool before filling the bottle.
Filter the macerated strawberries trough cheesecloth or a tight mesh colander. With the help of a funnel, pour the strawberry liquid in a decorative glass bottle, add the simple sugar. Shake the bottle gently, taste. Mix in a little more alcohol, if you like it stronger. Close with a tight cap. Let it rest one more week, then enjoy it. Ciao,
Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola has been in business as an interior designer since 1990 improving people’s life by changing their spaces. Most often she designs kitchens and wine grottos; outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms; great rooms and entertainment rooms. Her deep interest in food led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition and well-being. Finally she wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on