New Look for the Original Black Sambuca OPAL NERA

Apr 1, 2020
Bartenders Corner I

Premium Italian liqueur Opal Nera has undergone a brand refresh. Purple reigns as Italian company Francoli announce their new brand appearance for purple hue sambuca, Opal Nera.

The striking new bottle comes complete with a unique code for consumers to crack. Playing on its mysterious point of difference, a code lies beneath the logo and also sits on the bottle neck, which consumers can decipher using a sequence of letters and numbers that appear on the rim to reveal the words ‘dark secret’.

Opal Nera’s new bottle design at first glance looks like black frosted glass but upon pouring, a purple colour that matches the liquid is revealed with a vibrant purple hue. The design coincides with Australia’s explosion in the popularity of Insta-worthy liqueurs and aperitifs.

In 1988, Opal Nera was ‘conceived’ by Alessandro Francoli, president of renowned Piemonte-based Distillerie Francoli whilst on honeymoon in the States. Whilst having having dinner with Jim Murphy, President of Hiram Walker they naturally chatting about spirits and Jim talked about creating another coffee-flavoured Sambuca. Minutes later, Alessandro had the original idea to blend deep purple elderberries and other black spices with traditional crystal-clear Sambuca.

One year later Opal Nera, the first black Sambuca was launched, which took the market by storm. The brand grew to prominence in the 80’s as a revolutionary new drink, and over the years achieved considerable international success.

Opal Nera created a new exciting market for itself. It established a strong  position as a unique brand in over 50 countries worldwide. It rapidly achieved sales of over 50,000 cases in the USA alone. Opal Nera was voted “Brand of the Year” in Australia’s National Liquor News in 1993 & 1994.

The distinctive taste of Opal Nera is the result of a delicate blend of spices including star anise and green aniseed, orange blossom, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and lemons from Sicily. Whilst the black spices provide its complexity, it’s elderberries that provide its unique purple hue.

Nigel Brown, Commercial Director, Gruppo Francoli, says: “This is a beautiful design solution that captures people’s attention. It is still recognisably Opal Nera but has been brought up to date so that it will appeal to the modern consumer.

“It’s a sophisticated response that plays to Opal Nera’s distinctive qualities, making it stand out in a sea of conservative brands. We love the way consumers are now drawn in and taken on a journey of discovery, with layered packaging that engages bartenders and drinkers and makes Opal Nera a memorable experience.”

The Francoli team wanted to tell the story in a unique way, and their ‘secret code’ mechanism is distinctive and really engages the consumer.

The mysterious Opal Nera can be enjoyed straight up, chilled with ice, in your favourite cocktail and even as a frappe, bringing the dark secret to light.

The Francoli family have been distilling since 1875 and established their grappa distillery in Ghemme, at the foothills of the Italian Alps. GRUPPO FRANCOLI is an active producer and distributor of grappa, liqueurs, spirits and wines as well as renewable energy.

Safeguarding the environment has always been of great importance to the family: Francoli was the first grappa distillery to be officially certified Impatto Zero® by Lifegate, the reference for sustainability in Italy.

Opal Nera Sambuca is available at leading liquor retailers nationally including BWS, Dan Murphy’s, First Choice including many independent liquor outlets.

View Opal Nera product information.

Learn more about Gruppo Francoli.


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