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Molinari - The Flavour of a Classic

By Amira Ansari posted 11-12-2020 12:01


A message from our partners at Molinari:


This story begins during the rebirth of Italy after the Second World War. It was a time when the entire country had to roll up its sleeves to rebuild and find itself once again. There were few certainties, but many dreams driven by a hope and determination never seen before.


Angelo Molinari, an expert liquor producer, started working on a product which, together with his name, would become synonymous with the Made in Italy concept around the world. It was Sambuca Extra Molinari, a product of the highest quality with a bold and unmistakable flavour. The term “extra” highlights a very fine and valued product.


Angelo Molinari “Production Site”


The business was founded in Civitavecchia in the province of Rome. During its first 14 years Sambuca Extra was produced in an artisan workshop. With great skill, and the help of his children, Mafalda and Marcello, Angelo Molinari took on the role as main customer liaison, especially in the restaurant sector.

Family tradition tells how at the height of “La Dolce Vita” Angelo Molinari suggested to the best barmen in Rome’s via Veneto to allure Hollywood stars with a small glass of sambuca served with coffee beans; and so the legendary ritual of the “Sambuca with fly” was born. The charming idea won over the stars of the big screen who frequented Rome at the time. It was not just people of the caliber of Anita Ekberg, Marcello Mastroianni or Walter Chiari who made this custom their own, but so did the whole of Italy; a custom that paparazzi and gossip reporters helped grow in popularity, suddenly increasing the fame of sambuca.


As a result of the liqueur’s huge success, in 1959 the first industrial plant was opened, followed by a second in 1964. The company’s business approach was fit for a textbook in management and marketing, a model for the time. It built itself on an increasingly extensive and skilled sales network, sharp and effective advertising campaigns and deliberate and powerful public relations, acquiring an ever-wider market share.

Molinari Campaign Ad circa (left) 1963 & 1971 (right)



In 1967 Marcello and Mafalda Molinari’s brother, Antonio, joined the business. In response to constant developments in the Italian and foreign markets, in 1974 Molinari Sud S.p.A was opened in Colfelice (Frosinone), a new, highly automated plant. It was an industrial gem with a production capacity of 60,000 bottles per day.

Molinari Bottling Line


When Angelo Molinari passed away in 1975, his business legacy was promoted by his children. It was during the 1980s that Sambuca Molinari was hallowed as one of the most famous Italian products in the world.

Sambuca Molinari’s strong international propensity translates into a presence in over 70 countries around the world. The biggest importer is Germany, but Molinari is also popular in Eastern Europe, such as in Russia, the Ukraine and Romania. It is also prevalent in Northern Europe, in the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.


Today the business is run by the third Molinari generation. Currently it produces over 9,5 million bottles per year, around 25% of which are exported overseas, and has a turnover of approximately 65 million. In Italy, Molinari is the leader in the sambuca sector and is considered the market’s benchmark in terms of excellence, quality, and tradition.

The Molinari Family Today


BarTales Magazine Article BY ALESSANDRO PALANCA  | FULL article HERE – Click on page 22.

For more information on Molinari Extra Sambuca

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Contact Mara Lee with Molinari -- | 773.339.3391