Our friends Jen and Tom shouldn't have asked if we wanted anything from Italy when they went last week. Because of course, we asked for something they had to run around the whole of Florence to find. But I think it was worth it.
I have been lusting over a bottle of this precious elixir for a long time, and have been told repeatedly that you cannot buy it in the States. So Tom ransacked Florence and found a tiny bottle of it. Santa Maria Novella is more famously known for its herbal colognes and cosmetics, all of which is packaged beautifully.
This liqueur is a gorgeous pink color and is so pretty that I almost didn't want to open it. Almost. The taste actually stunned me. The nose is overtly rose with a tinge of sweetness – basically it smells like turkish delight. The alcohol sits somewhere between the rose and the sugar, none of the three elements overpowering one another. It's silky smooth, no alcholic bite and no cloying sweetness. Just amazing. I have to say, it blew mine away.
After the stress of liqueur-hunting and traveling back to New York, Jen stopped by Lafco on her way home. Apparently they sell Santa Maria Novella liqueur there now.