Skip to main content

A history waiting to be discovered

From the post-war period to the present day, a recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation. A liqueur of unquestionable quality, born from a mix of passion and skill, which brightens up tables worldwide.

  • 1945
  • 1950-60
  • 1960-70
  • 1980
  • 2000
  • 2006
  • oggi
  • 1945
    The birth of an icon


    Civitavecchia. It was 1945 when Angelo Molinari, an expert perfumer and connoisseur of the secrets of blending, began his experiments to create a product of the highest quality: the Sambuca Extra. A liqueur with an unmistakable taste, based on star anise, with a recipe that is still secret today. Thus began the story of the Molinari company.

  • The 1950s & 1960s
    La Dolce Vita and Rome's elegant society gatherings


    Shortly thereafter, Molinari spread throughout Rome thanks to the resourcefulness of Angelo and his sons, Marcello and Mafalda, who brought it to the attention of the restaurateurs of Via Veneto. A drink consumed with coffee beans in it, which soon became emblematic of a worldly era filled with glamour and an inspiration for Federico Fellini's masterpiece La Dolce Vita.
    Many celebrities, both actors and sports stars, took turns providing endorsements for Molinari's advertising campaigns.
    Even Frank Sinatra, a great admirer of Sambuca Molinari, was such a fan that he wrote a letter praising it to the Molinari family.
    In 1967, Antonio Molinari joined the company to work alongside his brothers.

  • The 1970s
    The expansion phase


    The rise of the inimitable anise liqueur was unstoppable and, following its great success, the first industrial complex in Civitavecchia was joined by a second one: 1974 saw Molinari Sud SpA, a new factory, inaugurated in Colfelice (Frosinone). It featured a high level of automation, with a production capacity hitting a record of 60,000 bottles per day. This industrial complex was designed to respond to constant developments in the Italian and foreign markets, and represented a technological milestone.
    After 1975, following the death of Angelo Molinari, his sons took up his legacy by continuing to promote the Sambuca Molinari brand in Italy and worldwide.

  • The 1980s & 1990s
    Timeless slogans


    In the 1980s, Molinari continued to maintain its market lead thanks to a product of absolute quality, combined with careful marketing and distribution policies.
    The company looked to foreign markets, where it was welcomed, and also conquered international palates, in a few years becoming one of the most famous Italian products in the world.
    Its marketing also continued to be incisive and memorable.
    In the 1980s and 1990s, Molinari's claims adapted to the well-established international character the product had acquired. This produced the slogans: "If you go around the world, Molinari is there" and "It has only one fault, it isn't foreign", up to the famous Dodo "Travel" campaign.

  • 2003
    Molinari Caffè


    In the early 2000s, Molinari revived Molinari Caffè: its historical creator's recipe, taken up and revisited by the new the company's new management.
    A perfect union between the anise flavour of Sambuca Molinari and a selected blend of coffee, to be enjoyed after lunch or dinner, as a natural accompaniment to dessert or ice cream.

  • 2006
    The Molinari Non-Profit Foundation


    In 2006, Mafalda, Angelo's daughter, dedicated the Angelo Molinari Foundation to her father, with the aim of promoting, organising and sponsoring scientific initiatives. The non-profit organisation has carried out countless activities: donating medical equipment to hospitals, organising medical conferences, congresses and workshops in Italy and worldwide. Since 2015, the Foundation has changed its institutional purpose, choosing to promote initiatives aimed at helping and supporting children who are disadvantaged or in need, as well as their families.
    Find out more:

  • 2017
    The new bottle


    In 2017, for the first time, Molinari decided to update the design of its historic bottle. Transparency, softer lines and a new shape, which however does not alter its essence. The reinterpretation of a great classic, which has enabled the brand to enter a more contemporary dimension.
    Discover more