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Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia)

Rosolio or rosa solis (sometimes resoil in English) was the original liqueur, said to have been invented in Turin during the early Renaissance, using the pretty carnivorous plant sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) as the base. It was considered a medicine (notably an aphrodisiac or digestive—known in Britain as surfeit water); often gold and pearls would be added to increase its value. They were especially popular in Sicily, where for centuries it was the custom to offer little glasses of rosolio to guests.

Today the classic rosolio is made of macerated rose petals, sugar and alcohol, although any number of ingredients can replace the petals for a surprising variety of flavours. Many people make them at home, but a wide number are commercially available as well. Also see concerto.

rosolio alla carruba (carob)

rosolio alla crema di limone (lemon and milk—but it still comes out clear)

rosolio al limone (lemon)

rosolio alla liquirizia (liquorice)

rosolio al peperoncino (chilli)

rosolio al vino primitivo (Primitivo–aka Zinfandel–wine)

rosolio delizia al cacao (chocolate)

rosolio di alloro (bay leaves)

rosolio di cannella (cinnamon)

rosolio di ficodinidia (prickly pear)

rosolio fior di mandorlo (almond blossom)

rosolio di ulivo (olive leaf)

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Green Optics