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Sardinia: Headquarters for Sannai Mirto

Antonio Castelli, CEO, Sannai Mirto

There are many reasons to schedule a visit to Sardinia and they range from excellent wines and interesting cuisine to 4-5-star resorts, yachts and boating, swimming, sunning and the opportunity to rub shoulders with the rich (and maybe famous).

One reason that is unlikely to appear on the top 10 list (but should be there) is the opportunity to taste Mirto. While a few international locales import this locally produced liqueur, it is very difficult to find outside of Sardinia and Corsica.

Discover Mirto

Mirto is made from the myrtle plant (Myrtus communis) through the alcoholic maceration of the dark blue berries (similar to blueberries) or a compound of berries and leaves. The berries grow on small evergreen bushes that can grow up to five meters. The leaves contain valuable essential oils and used for medicinal purposes; the early Egyptians and Assyrians used the berries for their antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties in treating ulcers.

In Greek mythology, Myrsine, a young girl, was transformed by Athena into the shrub because she dared to beat a male competitor in the games. Myrtle was worn by Athenian judges and woven into wreaths worn by Greek and Roman Olympians. As a token of peace and love, myrtle was part of bridal decorations.

The deep blue berries are elongated ovals and have a shiny exterior. When fresh, they are soft and aromatic. Beneath the blackish-blue skin the flesh is reddish-purple and filled with small kidney-shaped seeds

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About the author

Dr. Elinor Garely - special to eTN and editor in chief,