Christmas Biscotti and Nonna’s Liqueurs

A bit like the countdown to Christmas, I’ve been waiting expectantly for my homemade rosemary liqueur to mature. In early December I went on a festive farm trip with Italy Food Roots, this time to the wonderful agriturismo Terrasabina in Poggio Mirteto for a biscuit and liqueur workshop.

Rosemary and myrtle berries in alcohol

   We were promised nonna’s secret rosemary and myrtle berry recipes for traditional Italian digestivi and we weren’t disappointed. Mix the ingredients with neat alcohol and leave to infuse in an airtight container (10 days for the rosemary and 40 for the myrtle berry)

Following the recipe really closely I promise

   Next we made the biscuits, biscotti or ciambelline al vino. Biscuits to eat with wine, made with wine! I knew their name was ‘wine biscuits’, but I’d assumed that they were called this because they were an accompaniment for wine, rather than wine being one of their main ingredients. 

Mix flour, wine and oil into a paste then roll

The lovely Serena showing us how it’s done.

   After all our hard work, we settled down to eat some of the fruits of our labour together with a mug of mulled wine. A perfect end to a very Christmassy afternoon. 

   And so as the 17th December approached, the waiting was over. Kate’s efforts in Rome had inspired me! I couldn’t wait to present my homemade rosemary tipple at a Christmas party! I decided to take my amazingly green stewed rosemary and alcohol back to Bradford to finish the process at home, adding wine and sugar syrup. 

Kate’s very Christmassy Rosmarino Digestivo

   Whether it was the Yorkshire water, I don’t know but my results were disappointing to say the least …

   Not exactly the lovely Italian Christmas present I’d hoped for … Cannot think what I did wrong (maybe not sterilising the bottle before use?) Nonna would not be impressed. Looks like I’ll have to go back for another lesson sometime soon. 

For more information on forthcoming trips go to


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