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Despite a common misconception based on the name, rosolio has no direct connection with roses or rose petals. (Rose essence is, however, one option for addition to the base; other options include citrus, coffee, aniseed, and mint.) In fact, the name comes from the Latin ros solis, which means "dew of the sun".
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 offered to house guests as a sign of good luck.