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drinks Folklore and Fairy Tales

Homemade Strega Liqueur

Strega is a sweet and herbally Italian liqueur, created in 1860 by Guiseppe Alberti, who founded a distillery with his father Carmine Vincenzo Alberti in Benevento, known as the city of witches.

Benevento has a rich history of Stregheria, and is home to a mythical walnut tree, underneath which witches would meet for Sabbat rituals, spell casting, spirit orgies, and general wickedness. According to family legend, Giuseppe and his father happened upon a meeting of such witches while walking in the woods searching for herbs. A sudden thunderstorm arose and a tree branch fell, striking one of the witches. They saved her, and in thanks the witches gave him the secret recipe of their special elixir.

Here’s how you can make that special elixir at home!

You can drink it straight, after a meal – all those spices, especially fennel, make it an ideal digestif – or there are lots of cocktail recipes it can be used in. Including this Sour Medicine cocktail inspired by Pinocchio!

Homemade Strega

  • 3 cups vodka
  • 2 teaspoons chopped angelica root
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 7 green cardamom, cracked
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 cup honey

Add vodka and all spices into a quart container. Shake and store in the pantry or a cupboard for at least 1 week, preferrably 2, shaking occasionally.

Strain and mix with honey (to make it easy, strain it into a mixing bowl, then heat honey in the microwave for 10-20 seconds until it is liquidy, then mix into the spiced vodka).

Save chilled in the fridge or freezer.

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