Over Two Hundred Years of Luxardo Heritage

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Girolamo Luxardo
Founds Distillery

1817: Girolomo Luxardo moved to Zara (in modern-day Croatia) with his wife Maria Canaveri in 1817. Maria was especially interested in perfecting “Rosolio Maraschino”, a liqueur produced in Dalmatia since medieval times, and became famed for her recipe.

 

1821: Girolamo founded his distillery in 1821 to make his wife’s liqueur.

 

829:  After 8 years of research, Girolamo perfected the recipe — which is still used to this day. So lauded was the recipe, it received an exclusive “Privilege” from the Emperor of Austria, a valuable and cherished acknowledgement of the superior quality of Luxardo
Maraschino Liqueur. Today the firm proudly continues bearing thedenomination of “Privilegita Fabbrica Maracschino Excelsior”.

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Michaelangelo Luxardo builds modern distillery

1913: Owing to Luxardo’s global success, the third generation Luxardo, Michelangelo, built a very modern distillery, probably the largest in the entire Austro-Hungarian Empire. Even today people arriving in Zara cannot help noticing the imposing building on the harbour edge, which housed the headquarters and the residence of the Luxardo family.

1918: At the end of World War I, Zara was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy as 85% of its population were Italians. The Luxardo Company soon became the most important distillery in the country.

 

1934: Ernest Hemingway becomes a regular at famed La Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba, where he creates a cocktail with Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur: the Hemingway Daiquiri.

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Luxardo family rebuilds in torreglia

In 1947, however, the last surviving brother, Giorgio Luxardo, together with his nephew, fifth-generation Nicoló Luxardo III, had the courage and the vision to rebuild the distillery in Torreglia, a village beneath the Euganean Hills in the North-Eastern part of Italy.

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The story continues

In the early 1980’s thanks to the consolidation of the existing markets and with the innovative ideas brought by the young members of the sixth generation, came an era of consistant investmentson the plant in Torreglia which are still undergoing today.

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Celebrating 200 years

Since our founding by Girolamo Luxardo in 1821, from the golden age of cocktails, through the modern eras of mixology, to today, we have remained privately owned and operated by the 6th and 7th generations of the Luxardo family. Over two hundred years, seven generations of Luxardos have helped perfect classics, reinvent icons, and inspire new innovations in cocktail culture. So here’s a toast to the next two hundred years — whatever the future brings, we warmly invite you to join our family over a glass of Luxardo.

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1886

1821

1913

1943

1947

1950S>

1980S

2004

2022

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The Golden age of Classic Cocktails

1868: The Manhattan cocktail was invented, and legend has it that a spoonful of Luxardo Maraschino Cherry syrup was swirled into this first glass. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur can be found in the earliest recipes for the first generation of cocktails, including the Corpse Reviver (1871) and the Martinez (1887). Luxardo further builds its name among bartenders across continents with other products that the Luxardo family began producing soon after its founding, such as the Cherry Liqueur “Sangue Morlacco”, the Original Maraschino Cherries, Limoncello and many others.

 

1912: Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur is served aboard the Titanic during its fateful voyage.

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Distillery destroyed in WW2

1943: The beginning of World War II brought great destruction to Zara. After indiscriminate and repeated Anglo-American bombings in 1943-44, the city of Zara — and the distillery — was almost completely destroyed.

1944: German troops withdrew from Dalmatia, allowing
occupation by Josip Tito’s partisans. The great majority of the surviving Italian population fled into exile, in Italy and elsewhere(Australia, Canada, and the Americas) but many were murderedby the Yugoslavian occupiers: amongst them brothers Pietro and Nicoló Luxardo II, and Nicolo’s wife Bianca.

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An era of expansion

Soon after the end of WWII, with the help of the rest of the fifth generation, and with a strong sense of family belonging, the company managed to rise again after surviving countless losses during the previous years. With the re-establishment of good relations with reliable agents and distributors, both in Italy and in export markets worldwide, different Luxardo products were soon again on the top shelves of many bars.

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The Real Maraschino takes hold in the us

In 2004 the brand became aligned with the growing craft cocktail movement thanks to bartenders at the famed Pegu Club in New York. Mere weeks before the opening of Pegu Club, the bartenders were on a trip to London where they tried Luxardo cherries for the first time at a craft cocktail bar, and knew right away they needed to find a way to get them for Pegu. After clearing the shelves of a local high-end market of their entire supply for the openning, the Luxardo cherries were a huge success, they even got a mention in The New York Times. As Pegu Club and others popularized Luxardo by word of mouth, the sales...started to grow by double digits every year. The word was out.

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ready to drink

In the summer of 2021, Luxardo USA launched a line of ready-to-drink sparkling canned cocktails, featuring three of Luxardo’s most popular flavors — Aperitivo Spritz, Bianco Spritz, and Sour Cherry Gin and Tonic.  The launch marks a new era in Luxardo’s centuries-long celebration of conviviality — making the classics compact and enjoyable for chic tastemakers in the summers to come.

2021