The Monk’s Tale: Frangelico Liqueur from Italy has a Distinctive Bottle and a Distinctive Taste

An OU Kosher monk? Yes, indeed. At least an OU Kosher bottle shaped like a monk. That’s the story of Frangelico.

Frangelico is a premium Italian liqueur with the irresistible flavor of hazelnuts. Consumers in the United States and around the world enjoy it both as a traditional liqueur — straight, over ice or with/in coffee — and as a fashionable and versatile cocktail ingredient.

The distinctive monk-shaped bottle – bearing the OU symbol — with its hand-tied rope waistband, is an immediate clue to Frangelico’s fascinating origins in the Piedmont hills in northern Italy. There, in the 17th century, a legendary hermit named Fr. Angelico used fine local ingredients to create a unique liqueur made from the local hazelnuts that grew in profusion.

Today, in the small Piedmontese town of Canale, the same local hazelnuts are distilled with herbs, vanilla berries and other natural botanicals to create a wonderful golden liqueur named after the legend — Frangelico. Its taste is smooth, warming and delicious.

So popular has it become that Frangelico is now exported from Italy to over 90 countries and is the world’s second largest selling Italian liqueur. And for the past seven years, Frangelico has been OU Kosher.

While ‘on the rocks’ is possibly the favourite way of enjoying Frangelico, it’s a great cocktail mixer with other spirits, fruit and liqueurs. Among many award-winning recipes are ‘Angel’s Kiss’ with vodka, ‘Frangelico Zesti’ with fresh lime and ‘Nuts and Berries’ with raspberry liqueur.

Frangelico is owned by C&C International, the international spirits group based in Dublin, Ireland. Distribution in the United States is handled by William Grant & Sons (USA). So it’s an Italian liqueur, owned by an Irish company, distributed by an American firm and bearing a symbol recognized worldwide. That symbol, of course, is the OU.