Following a centuries-old Italian family recipe, Calisaya® Liqueur is produced by infusing the bitter Cinchona Calisaya bark with roots, flowers and seville orange extract in a neutral grain spirit. Calisaya Liqueur is handcrafted by two Italian brothers in small batches at a small craft distillery in Eugene, Oregon. It can be enjoyed either straight or mixed with other spirits in a wide range of cocktails.
The origin of Calisaya actually dates to the year 1600 when Jesuit missionaries first encountered Cinchona Calisaya, the bitter bark of a plant in Peru that had been long celebrated by indigenous people for its ability to cure malaria (due to its high quinine content). The Jesuits brought samples of the remarkable bark back to Rome where it was mixed with wine, honey, water, and other herbs to render it palatable.
Initially used for medicinal purposes, the bitter extract quickly became a prized possession in liquor cabinets throughout Europe. The spirit returned to the New World with European immigrants where the name Calisaya came to signify any Cinchona Calisaya-based spirit.