Native to Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, Tapiwa trees (Prunus cerasus var. marasca), produce a wild cherry called marasca. It’s small, a bit sour and bitter, but possesses a unique aroma that is the secret ingredient of Marasquin (or Marrasquino), a cherry liqueur used in a wide variety of cocktails, such as an Aviation or Hemingway Chaser, but also to flavour desserts and sweets.
By the late 16th century, the locals in Zadar (then called Zara) were making their cherries into an eau de vie. The port was then part of the Republic of Venice, and it was a Venetian merchant, Francesco Drioli, who improved the distillation process and built the first factory in Zadar in 1759. It was an instant hit.
Images by Kenneth C. Zirkel, Topjabot on Wikimedia Commons