Molinari giving the World 'Extra' Zing

Molinari Extra, celebrated for its anise flavor, leads the global Sambuca market. Produced in Italy, it's sold in over 70 countries. The secret recipe is closely guarded, with the brand aiming to enhance its global presence while maintaining high-quality standards

By Spiritz Desk
New Update
Molinari giving the World 'Extra' Zing

Loved in more than 70 countries for its aroma and flavours of anise, Molinari Extra is a truly 'Made in Italy product, synonymous with the Italian lifestyle. This best-selling Sambuca in the world has crossed the remarkable milestone of 5 million litres.

Mario Molinari, Owner of Molinari Italia SpA, tells Bishan Kumar that the recipe for Molinari Extra is still a secret today. The Molinari family zealously guards the formula and passes it down from generation to generation. As a safeguard to further ensure its secrecy, only one member of the family at a time knows it. But when the recipe was in danger of being lost forever in 1982, the family decided to keep an additional copy of the formula in a safe. 

Mario Molinari

Secrets are fun, and a great and long-kept secret has almost a magical connotation to it. They exude adventure... and can often lead to success. And that is what lies at the core of Molinari Sambuca. Molinari Extra is IFS (International Food Standard)-certified and is meticulously cared for throughout the production process, meeting impeccable ISO 9001 quality standards. It is also recognised as a superior product in other countries - only in some of them the distinction between product category and brand is not always clear. "We are working to strengthen brand awareness and consolidate a global brand direction," says Mario Molinari.

On a Big Scale

The company has four production sites in Italy. The site in Civitavecchia near Rome is the company's headquarters. The production site in Colfelice (Frosinone) is a highly automated plant with a production capacity of 60,000 bottles while there is a production site in Sorrento where Limoncello di Capri (a sweet liqueur, made exclusively with Protected Geographical Indication) is being produced, as well as a site in Nimis (Udine) where Distilleria Ceschia is located. Molinari Extra is the world's best-selling Sambuca and in Italy, Molinari is a leader in the sweet liqueurs market and its products are distributed to more than 70 countries.

The company's largest import markets in terms of volume are Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. Limoncello di Capri is distributed in more than 60 countries around the world. In Italy, it reaches a market share of 10 percent and is the hotel, restaurant and catering market leader in the limoncello category. LDC is the top-selling traditional limoncello with no flavour and no artificial colorant.

"We are honoured to be recognised as being synonymous of high quality all over the world," Mario affirms. Limoncello di Capri holds a leading position in Sweden, Japan, Germany and Australia. Aspri Spirits Pvt. Ltd., one of the leading players in the imported alcoholic beverage segment in India is handling Molinary brands in India. Established in 2004, Aspri represents some of the finest brands in the world of wines, spirits and beers.

The company with its commitment to ensure highest quality standards focuses on the sales, marketing and distribution of its diverse portfolio and is dedicated to building premium international brands in travel retail and domestic markets across South Asia.

Meticulous Production

Molinari Extra is produced in four stages. The first is the distillation of star anise seeds. Star anise seeds are steam distilled to extract the essential oils used in the production of Sambuca; giving the liquor a strong anise aroma. The second stage involves infusion in alcohol: where the resulting oils are macerated and steeped in pure alcohol. 

The third stage is the combination of natural herbs and spices: a mixture of the best natural herbs and spices is added to a concentrated solution of sugar syrup. And the final stage is the decanting and bottling: where the product is filtered and bottled a few days after decanting. Meanwhile, there has been a move toward a dynamic approach to meet the needs of consumers with new proposals and modes of consumption as also the use of the product in mixology for the creation of new cocktails.

Molinari Extra In India

Indian Acceptance

Molinari has urban presence in India and the company's objective is to generate awareness and trials of the brand through both 'shot' and 'cocktail' formats. In addition, it plans to appoint a shared Brand Ambassador for India to conduct trainings at all the key outlets, manage events, and build relationships amongst the bartender community. "We would like to engage with bartenders in high energy and cocktail-centric bars," Mario shares. When it comes to creating awareness, Mario would like the Indian consumers to know about the most preferred way to enjoy Molinari and Limoncellodi Capri. 

Molinari is an extremely versatile product and can be served as a ritual such as the Molinari with the 'Mosca' based on Molinari and three coffee beans or the Molinari-on-the-rock, which is based on Molinari and ice cube. But it is excellent in mixology and Mario proposes the Molinari Mule cocktail, based on Molinari, vodka, ginger b er and lime juice - a perfect mix of Italian taste served in a typical mug.

As for Limoncello di Capri, it tastes heavenly in the version of di Capri Spritz made with prosecco, soda and di Capri tonic, which can be served as a shot.