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The Alchermes came to Italy thanks to the Spaniards, who had inherited the recipe from the Arabs. Many derive, erroneously, that its origins are Italian, more precisely that it had been born in Florence; It was here instead that Alchermes began to spread, during the regency of the doctors, who were great admirers. At the time, he was defined as “elixir of the long life” and was produced by the Florentine nuns of the Order of Santa Maria dei Servi, founded in 1233. At the beginning of the sixteenth century there is news of his preparation also from the friars of Santa Maria Novella and the Carthusians. When Caterina de ‘Medici, Lorenzo’s daughter, married Enrico II of Orléans, king of France in 1533, made the Alchermes, which became known precisely as “liqueur of doctors”, also known, in addition to various foods and sweets. His recipe was then transcribed two centuries after by Fra ‘Cosimo Bucelli, director of the workshop of Santa Maria Novella. Alchermes: the recipe Let’s find out which ingredients are necessary for homemade Alchermes.

Ingredients for 1 liter of liqueur:

500 gr of granulated sugar

500 ml of alcohol at 95 °

600 ml of water

10 gr of cinnamon powder

10 gr of coriander

1 vanilla cod

1 gr of cloves in powder

2 gr of nutmeg nutmeg

3 gr of macis powder

The peel of 1 orange without the white part

3 cardamom seeds

50 ml of rose water or

5 drops of pink extract for food use

2 gr of anise (anise essence is also fine)

10 gr of ladybug or alternatively of the natural pink or red color coloring.

METHOD: As the first step you have to chop the various spices except vanilla and orange peel. Mix them together with the cinnamon and cloves in powder. In a bottle, pour the alcohol with 100 ml of natural water and chopped spices, the pod cut for the long and the orange zest. Close hermetically and leave to rest for about 2-3 weeks, having the care to shake the bottle a couple of times a day. After this time, melt the sugar in 300 ml of cold water, mix and add the macerate liquid with the spices. Let it rest for a further 2 days. The last step plans to filter everything, with a cotton gauze and also add rose water together with the dye. Once the liqueur is ready, you can keep it in a previously sterilized bottle. But let it mature 1 month in the dark before using it.