Don Ciccio & Figli featured in PUNCH magazine as one of the “New-New Wave of Italian Aperitivo Liqueurs”
Don Ciccio e Figli C3 Carciofo
Where it’s made: Washington, D.C.
What’s in it: Three varieties of California artichokes, cardoon and grapefruit
ABV: 23 percent
The story: “From the beginning, I wanted to create a portfolio that included amari, cordials and aperitivi,” says Francesco Amodeo, the Italian-born president and founder of Washington D.C.’s Don Ciccio e Figli. Since launching in October 2012, he has grown a portfolio inspired by his family’s history of distilling, dating back to 1883 in the town of Atrani on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. In 2015 he launched two signature aperitivo style bitters, Cinque and Luna Amara. And last fall, C3 Carciofo, an artichoke-based aperitivo based on a 1911 Italian recipe, joined the collection. For decades, Cynar, with an illustration of an artichoke gracing its signature label, was the only carciofo in town, but Amodeo hopes to expand the category with C3, which is lighter with a lower viscosity and strong citrus notes. “We often describe C3 as the aperitivo relative to Cynar,” he says. “Cynar has a bit more floral flavors and complexity that we chose to simplify in an attempt to embrace the true bitterness of the artichoke.”
How it tastes: It’s savory, earthy and slightly vegetal with a bright wash of citrus. “The application of fresh grapefruit peels is the most unique aspect of our aperitivo, giving it a clean, citrus accent with a hint of additional bitterness,” says Amodeo. Try it on its own over ice or in a long drink topped with soda and an orange slice. Amodeo recommends swapping it in for Averna in a Black Manhattan: “it creates a long finish and hearty composition with a balanced level of whiskey to bitter.”