Liquore Strega is an Italian herbal liqueur produced since 1860 by the S. A. Distilleria Liquore Strega in Benevento, Italy. Its distinctive yellow color comes from the presence of saffron. Strega is bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV), which is an alcohol content comparable to most hard liquors, but it has a sweetness and viscosity typical of liqueurs. Among its approximately 70 herbal ingredients are mint and fennel, giving it a complex flavor with minty and coniferous notes.
Strega was developed in 1860 by the father–son team of Carmine Vincenzo Alberti and Giuseppe Alberti. The company experienced growth until Giuseppe Alberti's death in 1894. Alberti's four sons Ugo, Vincenzo, Francesco and Luigi took control. The company received a royal warrant of appointment to the Italian King.
Strega became well known for its colourful and artistic advertising. One poster was designed in 1906 by in the art nouveau style. Strega is the Italian word for "witch" and since legends of witchcraft at Benevento date back to the time of the Lombard invasion, it was a natural choice of name for the liqueur. The liqueur is sometimes called "the witch" in the English-speaking world.
The Premio Strega (Strega Prize), the most prestigious literary award in Italy today, was founded in 1947 by Guido Alberti, then owner of the company, together with his friends the writer Maria Bellonci and her husband Goffredo.
The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, one of several international spirit ratings organizations, has evaluated Strega liqueur on three occasions since 2005. The ratings organization gave the spirit gold medals in 2005 and 2011 and a silver medal in 2008.
References in media
- The Sun Also Rises, 1926
- A Farewell to Arms, 1929
- Kitty Foyle, 1940
- Rome Adventure, 1962
- Light in the Piazza, 1962
- Inside Mr. Enderby, 1963
- "The Day Lady Died", Lunch Poems, 1964
- Don't Make Waves, 1967
- The Godfather, 1969
- Temporary Kings (novel), 1973
- Made, 2001
- Rally Round the Flag, Boys! (1956) and Anyone Got a Match? (1964), both books by Max Shulman
- "Bringing It Back Bar: What to Do with Strega". Punch. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- "Strega Page Listing on Proof66". Proof66.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "...The waiter recommended a Basque liqueur called Izarra...It looked like hair-oil and smelled like Italian strega."
- after a night of drinking with his Italian friends, the protagonist, Henry, returns to his quarters where his roommate, Rinaldi, offers him a drink. Henry says, "Not Strega." Rinaldi counters, "No. Grappa."
- "Once you drink Strega together, you will never drink it apart."
- "The Day Lady Died". Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2013-07-05.
- Carlo hands Laura a bottle of Strega after a day at work, and is rewarded with a "Strega, hmmm!" and a nod of approval.
- "It's midnight and this motherfucker is ordering an aperitif." "Actually, with all due respect, it – Strega, that is – is a digestif," Ricky replies.