Galliano Tasting Notes


Everyone loves a fancy bottle. Bartenders especially, love to create a drink using something a little quirky, plus it’s always a fantastic talking point. Galliano is no exception.

Created in 1896 by Italian distiller and brandy producer Arturo Vaccari of Livorno, Tuscany, he named his creation after Giuseppe Galliano ‘Maggiore Galliano’, an Italian Hero. According to the Galliano website, ‘Giuseppe Galliano in Christmas 1895, during the 1887 – 1896 Italian campaign in Abyssinia, he spent 44 days holding the Fort of Enda Jesus against an Abyssinian force of some 80,000 troops. He had a force of 2000 hardy soldiers, meaning he was outnumbered by 40 to 1. Some feat. For his efforts he received an immediate promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and a silver medal from the King’.

Arturo Vaccari noticed a gap in the market when it came to honouring fallen heroes, and in 1896, set about creating a new liqueur at his distillery. After a bit of research, Vaccari created a liqueur that, legend has it, was based on a homemade tipple that Galliano always carried into battle. In a nod towards the efforts of Italian’s travelling to America for the Californian gold rush, he also decided his liqueur would be golden in colour.

Vaccari’s efforts paid off when in the 1970’s, Galliano became America’s biggest selling liqueur. The blend of over 30 different herbs, spices, roots, barks and flower seeds (including Mediterranean anise, juniper, musk yarrow, star anise, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon and vanilla) even created one of the worlds most famous cocktails, and with it a legendary story –

A bumbling surf dude called Harvey, who after a few too many Screwdrivers that he had laced with Galliano, found himself bouncing down the hallway to his room. Hence the craze began for that most famous of Galliano cocktails – The Harvey Wallbanger. 

Galliano is also rather unique in its creation, enlisting the help of a tiny premises at Via Cavour, Numero 11, Torino. It was here in 1880, that brothers Riccardo and Pietro Maraschi established their liqueur extracts business involving hydraulic infusions of herbs and spices. Such was the Maraschi brothers’ talent for extracting intense and true flavours and fragrances, that the celebrated collaboration between the liqueur maker and supplier flourished for over 100 years. Maraschi & Quirici are still found in Torino and to this day, Maraschi & Qurici are the sole providers of the ingredients for Galliano.

So how does Galliano fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Galliano L’Autentico – 30%

Fresh nose of soft vanilla and a slight hint of aniseed, although this becomes stronger once onto the palate. Vanilla and liquorice flavours dominate and creates a slight burn near the end.

Not a bad digestif, but Galliano has been used in many a cocktail too –

Livorno Cup
Livorno Cup

Livorno Cup

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

15 ml Galliano L’Autentico
30 ml Gin
30 ml Martini Rosso
1 Lime squeeze
Top up with ginger beer

Method –

Build ingredients into an ice-filled wine glass. Garnish with a mint twig, orange and lemon slice.


Daiquiri Milano

Glass – 


Ingredients –

20 ml Galliano Vanilla
40 ml Light rum
20 ml Fresh grapefruit juice
10 ml Fresh lime juice

Method – 

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a pre-chilled glass. Garnish with a grapefruit zest.

You may have noticed the Daiquiri variation above asks for Galliano Vanilla, created from a demand that some consumers preferred to have a stronger tone of vanilla. Galliano also has one more variation to add to its portfolio – Ristretto. An espresso liqueur that uses two different types of coffee beans as well as a variety of countries used including strong, bitter Robusta beans from Kenya and India blended with the creamy chocolate Arabica coffee beans from Brazil and Colombia.

So for something a little different, Galliano is the way to go, whichever variant you choose.

Check out more photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 thoughts on “Galliano Tasting Notes

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