It is obtained from the myrtle plant through the alcoholic maceration of the berries or a compound of berries and leaves. Myrtle grows freely in Sardinia, where the liqueur was consumed as part of a local niche market, in two varieties: the one with black berries and the other one with the white ones; legend has it that, long ago, Sardinian bandits introduced this particular usage of the plant to the nearby island of Corsica, where the liqueur has also been considered a traditional drink since then.
There are two varieties of myrtle liqueur:
- Mirto rosso (simply murta) is made with the berries of the black variety and is sweet.
- Mirto bianco (murta arba) is made with the berries of the white variety or, less commonly, from young leaves.
- Marcis, Richard (August 15, 2011). "MIRTO AND THE BOUNTY OF SARDINIA". Wine Words Wisdom. winewordswisdom.com. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Deiana, Stefania; Deiana, Gaveena (20 April 2015). "SARDINIAN MIRTO". Ganeeva. gaveena.com. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Shaw, Hank (30 October 2010). "MAKING MIRTO, A SARDINIAN LIQUEUR". Honest Food. honest-food.net. Retrieved 7 March 2017.