The Original Black Sambuca is Back in the United States

New York, N.Y. – After a decade long hiatus, one of the most innovative liqueurs to ever grace the lips of American consumers is back. Effective immediately, Crillon Importers and Francoli SPA are proud to announce a new long-term partnership that will once again offer Opal Nera, the original black sambuca liqueur and Opal Bianca, a traditional white sambuca, in North America.

Opal Nera

Since 1875, the Francoli family has been passionate about creating one-of-a-kind, artisanal products. So it would come as no surprise that generations later, the current president of Distillerie Francoli, Alessandro Francoli, would conceive of one of the world’s most unique liqueurs, on his honeymoon no less! Born from passion, Opal Nera, the original premium Black Sambuca imported from Italy, is truly one of the great liqueurs.

“We have been searching for the right person to bring our historic brand back into the U.S. market,“ stated Francoli. “Not only does our partnership with Crillon Importers enable us to once again offer Opal Nera to U.S. consumers, but we’re sure to witness Michel Roux’s dynamic brand-building capabilities first-hand. We’re extremely optimistic about the future of Opal Nera.”

Crillon Importers Chairman and CEO Michel Roux, the man behind the marketing success of top brands such as ABSOLUT, Grand Marnier, Bombay Sapphire and Stolichnaya, praised Opal Nera as one of the all time great liqueurs and a perfect fit for the Crillon portfolio. “Opal Nera has a fantastic brand story with an unbelievable potential,” said Roux. “We’re excited about our new partnership with Francoli SPA because it will undoubtedly re-establish Opal Nera as one the premier spirits in the marketplace and will quickly become a rising star among our portfolio of spirits.”

Opal Nera starts by distilling sugar beets with pure alpine water from the private family wells in Ghemme, Italy, to create an exceptionally clean neutral spirit. Next, each fresh, all natural ingredient is painstakingly distilled one at a time with the neutral spirit to slowly build the harmonious, complex flavor that makes Opal Nera the award winning spirit that it is. The ingredients include Italian Green Anise (round, rich and herbal), Star Anise from China (distinctive, strong and clean), Sicilian lemon peels (offering a touch of citrus), Italian Coriander (to add spice) and northern Italian elderflowers, (for a springtime bouquet and subtle floral flavor). Lastly, the skins of the elderberry plant’s black berries are delicately macerated with the finished liquid to give Opal Nera its mysterious, dark violet-black color. You could say the elderflower and elderberry plants that grow wildly in Northern Italy are Opal Nera’s dark secret!

Opal Bianca shares the same distillation methods, however the ingredients are slightly more streamlined. They include Italian Green Anise, Star Anise, Sicilian lemon peels and of course the secret ingredient that truly sets Opal Bianca apart from traditional Sambucas, northern Italian elderflowers.

The end result for both brands is a uniquely smooth anise liqueur with a subtle touch of citrus, floral undertones and a lightly sweet, velvety finish. At 80 proof, you can sip both Opal Nera and Opal Bianca straight, or enjoy them on the rocks. Opal Nera can also be enjoyed in a host of innovative cocktail recipes (see below). While the long and expensive production process for Opal Nera and Opal Bianca offers a very superior product, both brands are available at an unbelievably competitive price, retailing for only $20.00. You will not find this type of quality available at this competitive price across any category! Moreover, the excitement among wholesalers at this year’s WSWA was a perfect indication of the trade happy to welcome back one of the truly great stars of beverage alcohol industry. Perhaps it was also the fond memories of the exceptional profit potential.

Opal Nera and Opal Bianca will roll-out nationally during the remainder of 2011. For information on Opal Nera, please visit