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herbal digestivo flavoured with tansy

Made in both Piedmont and France since the 18th century, this liqueur made from the maceration in alcohol of 33 (or 34) different herbs (including arnica, gentian, hyssop, mint, sage, wormwood, verbena, valerian, camomile, lemon and lavender) but is best known for its flavouring of tansy (tanaceto), known in Piedmont as the 'arquebuse herb'. After maceration, the alcohol is distilled and aged in oak barrels.

Some say it got its name from an early version of a musket because drinking it neat feels like a ball of shot in the belly. Others say because its lack of sugar, healing herbs and high alcohol content, it was used to treat wounds caused by an arquebus.

One of the best known versions, made in Piedmont, Alpestre

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: lavoixducoq