Monday, November 6, 2017

Don Ciccio & Figli and Sunny Sweeney Deliver Trophies

Washington DC is a growing spirits town with most of the new distilleries concentrating on gin. However there's one celebrating the fruit liqueur from Southern Italy's Amalfi Coast: Don Ciccio & Figli.  Francesco ‘Ciccio’ Amodeo, President and Master Distiller, grew up along the Amalfi Coast where his family has been distilling fruit liqueur since 1883. Sadly after both his grandfathers resuscitated the distillery in the 1950s,  a massive earthquake destroyed the facility in 1980. But in October 2012 Amodeo continued this family legacy by opening Don Ciccio & Figli in Northwest DC  specializing in bitter aperitifs and fruit liqueur such as the Don Ciccio & Figli - Fragola Strawberry Liqueur ($33). This spirit weighs in at only 25% ABV and uses only fresh strawberries with not artificial flavoring. The profile is slightly sweet, but a decent bite that's noticeable and without heat. I sipped neat, but my family created Prosecco based cocktails - use brut and not extra dry or dry.  

The Fragola's flavor profile reminded me of Texas singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney, particularly with her latest release Trophy.  Her voice is sweet with a a pure country sound whereas the songs on the album are stinging and emotional. The signature song is the playful Better Bad Idea but more seriously there's Pass the Pain followed by Pills, Bottle by My Bed, and my favorite I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight. Written by Chris Wall this song is solemn but peaceful. Listen to the end as Unsaid showcases her strong vocals. This album should catapult Sweeney to the forefront of the County Music scene as is happening in the Americana world - it's one serious album.  Cheers to Sweeney and Don Ciccio & Figli.
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