Welcome to the 2016 October Frights Blog Hop
I was lucky enough to be born on
Friday, October 13th.
Next year it falls on it's proper day,
but no matter the day,
Don't be shy. Come in and join the fun.
I've cut the cake...
I hope you'll join me in a celebratory glass of Liquore Strega. Salute!
Oh, you're not familiar with Liquore Strega? Levi, e buona per te. Drink up, it's good for you. And I’ll tell you about this enchanting and mysterious Italian spirit.
Oops, looks like my bottle is empty. What can I say? It goes down easy...here, let me find another.
Isn't it pretty?
This liquor is made in only place, Benevento, Italy, located north of Naples and is referred to as the City of Witches. Legend tells us that somewhere outside the city, grew a sacred walnut tree that kept it's leaves all year long. This is where stregas and other witches from all over the world would gather each full moon for a ritual of singing, dancing, love making and sipping their secret herbal brew.
Until 622 AD.
That’s when Duke Arechi II of Benevento was said to willingly and happily partake in the monthly revelry among the witches. When his wife found out (I’ll refrain from the joke about the witches and the Duke’s broomstick - although it is a good one) she snitched him out to the local priest, Barbato, who immediately cut the tree down (and eventually built the church of Santa Maria del Voto on the site) and made the Duke convert to Christianity. Many believe Barbato was tricked and the true walnut tree still stands safe and hidden deep in the Benevento forest.
If you look closely at the label,
you'll see the dancing stregas beneath the walnut tree.
"That brings us to the Alberti family. One day Gisueppe Alberti and his brothers were foraging the woods of Benevento for herbs when they saved the life of a witch as she fell from a tree. In appreciation, she gifted the brothers with the secret recipe. To this day the Alberti family is the only producer of Liquore Strega. The recipe is kept under lock and key and only a few family members are privy to its ingredients. I can tell you that it’s made with over 70 different herbs and spices and that Saffron gives it its brilliant yellow hue. It’s a strong, complex drink that many sip as a digestive. Some people add mixers to it to make different concoctions. I prefer it the way it was meant to be drank, straight up.
You’ll find Liquore Strega in Mario Puzo’s "The Godfather." Tom Hagen sips Strega for courage before telling Don Corleone his son has died. Ernest Hemingway, who also indulged, has his main character, Henri, in A Farewell to Arms, offered a drink of Strega from is roommate, Rinaldi.
Now for the best and magical part. Strega is considered a love potion and has the power to both enchant and bewitch. For good or bad, “whomever you share a glass with you shall be forever united with."
Don't say I didn't warn you...
I love stregas and Stregheria (Italian witchcraft) and I write about them quite often. I have two dark short stories in CURIOUSLY DARK TALES about them and my novel, SOLSTICE,
stars Sofia, a powerful strega.
So I hope you'll come back tomorrow for some strega history and an
excerpt from one of the short stories featuring Liquore Strega.
I have two really cute and sweet smelling spooky soaps.
I'll give one away today and one tomorrow.
One's vanilla and one's pumpkin scented.
Leave a comment and let me know if you'd
like to try this magical drink or if you've ever had it.
Remember, everyone gets entered into the grand prize drawing
a $20 Amazon Gift Card
*Remember to include your email address*
Don't forget to check out all the other awesome authors in the hop!