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Antique liqueurs from Italy

Recently we received a very special gift from our friend Mieke. At an auction she had managed to get a box full of antique liqueurs from the Italian brand Carlo Erba. The liqueurs are packaged according to a pretty make-it-delicious-yourself concept. In the box you will find the extracts that you need for making liqueurs. A pioneer, that Carlo Erba. Reason enough for us to do a little research.

The first pharmaceutical Italian company ever was founded in Milan in 1853 by Mr. Carlo Erba. A pharmacist with big dreams, Mr. Erba wanted to introduce Italy to the world of modern pharmaceutical sciences. And that turned out to be a hit. Where he once started with a small laboratory and four employees, he ended up with large-scale factories, employing 1,200 people and an assortment of more than 1,700 different articles.

Making liqueurs yourself

From the 40s Erba started making syrups for liqueurs. This assortment consisted of more than thirty different flavours in two formats. In quite a make-it-delicious-yourself concept. The idea was to mix the bottle of syrup itself with sugar, water and alcohol. The result is a homemade banana, anise or mandarin liqueur.

As good as this sounds, the resounding success of Carlo Erba also came to an end. As from the 70’s various take-overs of the company happened. Today the brand Carlo Erba falls under the American company Johnson & Johnson. Nevertheless: Erba, thanks for this great inspiration!