Italian Brand, ITALICUS®, To Launch In Mid-July With Cellar Trends


Leading branded alcohol distributor, Cellar Trends, is building on its success of 2017 with the addition of ITALICUS® Rosolio di Bergamotto to its ever-expanding portfolio. From mid-July, Cellar Trends will be handling all sales, distribution and marketing for the brand in the UK.

Capitalising on the worldwide trend of aperitivo, Giuseppe Gallo launched his brand-new spirit, ITALICUS® in September 2016, in a bid to lead the global revival of Rosolio and in doing so, has honoured the historic origin and recipe of this forgotten category.

Produced at a family distillery, the spirit is made by infusing Bergamot and Cedro in cold water to release the essential oils, before blending with Italian grain spirit to produce a lightly citrus nose with hints of rose and lavender. In order to make the most of the delicate flavours of the botanicals, ITALICUS® is best enjoyed with Prosecco, served over ice and garnished with three olives to balance the floral overtones.

Director of Sales and Marketing at Cellar Trends, Terry Barker says: “It is always an exciting time for us when we bring a new product to the market and one such as ITALICUS® offers not only a great taste, but also the opportunity for Cellar Trends to work within a unique category. Since its launch to the UK market, ITALICUS® has already gained listings in a variety of premium bars throughout London, gaining some remarkable feedback from renowned mixologists and we are looking forward to building this brand’s reputation and reach.”

Founder of ITALICUS® Giuseppe Gallo comments: “As a young brand we are very honoured to be working with Cellar Trends, and feel that their expertise and experience will help build on the brand’s success as we continue to establish it amongst the on-trade.”

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Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto


Italian drinks are a big focus for me at the moment, with the opening of my ‘The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress‘ in Manchester a great example of utilising a variety of Italian styles. The rosolio aperitivo category escapes me though, until the arrival of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto!

I’d imagine the rosolio category isn’t one that strikes too many bells to many, so a little rundown before heading to Italicus.

Rosolio is an ancient type of Italian liqueur, deriving its name from ‘Drosera rotundifolia’, itself a species of sundew. It used to be flavoured exclusive with the herb, but now it’s known for more homemade low alcohol content spirits. The liqueur is common in Piedmont and in Southern Italy. It enjoys a special popularity in Sicily, where it has been prepared since the sixteenth century and was given to house guests as a sign of good luck.
Local ingredients are typically used depending on the region (for example Sicily with Cedro citrus fruit and fennel) and aromatized with herbs and spices.

Giuseppe Gallo has brought the category from the 1850’s of Rosolio back to the new-age with the launch of Italicus back in September 2016. Using peels from bergamots grown from Italy’s UNESCO-protected area Calabrian region and Cidros from Sicily, they are infused into cold water to release the essential oils (a process named sfumatura) prior to being blended with Italian neutral grain spirit, all within a family-owned distillery in Moncalieri, Torino.

The resulting bergamot and cedro flavoured spirit is then blended for several days with a separate maturation that contains Roman chamomile from Lazio, lavender, gentian, yellow roses and lemon balm from Northern Italy.

But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto – 20%

Very fresh lemon balm, bergamot, citrus peel and gentian coming through on the nose, followed by a naturally sweet chamomile flavour upon the palate. Notes of subtle lavender, honey, rose petal and lemon balm ride a lingering fresh finish.

A fantastic liquid on its own, but one recommended to be enjoyed in the following way;

“50/50 with Prosecco, over ice and garnished with three green olives”

Better get a bottle for the drinks cabinet, there are friends and family to impress.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.


Dead Rabbit v Artesian: Martini & Rossi World Cocktail Bar Championship

Martini & Rossi



In May 2014 the 2 best bars in the world from the 2 cocktail capitals in the UK and USA, Artesian bar at the Langham Hotel from London and Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog from New York, went head-to-head to battle for the illustrious title of the Martini & Rossi World Cocktail Bar Champion. Sponsored by world-famous vermouth, Martini, the innovative contest took place in New York’s financial district and included 3 fighting rounds of cocktail creation and fiercely competitive barmanship.


Carrying the pride of their country on their shoulders, Artesian was represented by award-winning mixologists Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale, who went mix-to-mix and shaker-to-shaker in cocktail combat against Jack McGarry and Bobby Hiddleston from Dead Rabbit.

Fuelling the across-the-pond rivalry, both teams had the audience and judges captivated throughout the energetic competition with entertainment including firecrackers and cabaret outfits. A unique mix of ingredients was also used in combat, including everything from Palma ham, Pessione cedarwood syrup to Orinoco bitters.


Round 1 involved the full team from both bars creating a punch inspired by Jerry P Thomas’ famous vermouth cocktail. Serving 60, Artesian created the standout BUGS BUNNY WAITING TO BECOME DEAD RABBIT, while Dead Rabbit served an exceptional BUNNY PUNCH, both which were judged on originality, presentation and refreshment.
Round 2 featured a speed challenge with 1 bartender from each team undertaking some of the trade’s most complex and iconic cocktails including the Americano, Negroni Sbagliato, Bobby Burns, Tipperary and Floridita #3. With a composite list of ingredients and definitive process, extra points were gained for observance of the original recipe, depth of flavour and time.

Finally, the concluding round was creativity. Contenders were challenged to create an aperitif that was judged on its originality, taste, refreshment, presentation and of course, creativity.


Although it was close, the exceptional ability and creativity of Kratena and Caporale, Artesian earned them the title of crowned the Martini & Rossi World Cocktail Bar Champion. However this acclaimed accolade was only narrowly missed out on by hosting Dead Rabbit bartenders McGarry and Hiddleston and there is already talk of a rematch.

Giuseppe Gallo, MARTINI Global Brand Ambassador and one for the 4 judges commented, “MARTINI is all about innovation, excellence and style, and all three things were seen in excess during this competition. I have never been to a competition with quite as much raw talent on show. Watching the best mixologists in the world entertain the crowd, mix phenomenal concoctions and have so much fun is a priceless experience!”