Ancora Bitter Amer Tonique
750ml, 1940’s, 35% ABV
Often over shadowed by the long list of Italian and French producers Fabrica Ancora (Anchor) crafted fantastic spirits, and specifically an Amer, till its closure in the 1980’s. The man responsible was the great German Master Distiller: Leopold Manillius Wagner (1850-1924)
Leopold moved to Portugal to study at the Industrial and Commercial Institute of Lisbon. In his early 20’s he opted for Portuguese citizenship and enlisted as a soldier in Garrison Viana do Castelo’s military.
After his service he joined the Real Winery Company in northern Portugal, Oporto, where, due to his exceptional work ethic and intelligence, quickly rose to from accoutant to director-manager.
In 1882, he settled in Lisbon, where he founded the Ancora Factory, which he managed till his
death. Succeeded by his youngest son, Vitor Manuel Basto Wagner, in collaboration with his son in law, João António Ribeiro they proceed to manage the distillery till their passing when Leopold’s grandson Antonio Augusto Wagner Ribeiro took over till its closure.
To specialize in the industry that he had created in Portugal, Leopold spend much of his career traveling abroad to study and connect with the similar industries of France and Italy.
He became one of the best distillation masters in Europe and established his technique so that his formulas remained unchanged till the brand’s demise. Composed of cochineal, Seville orange, galangal, oleoresins, and approximately 20 other botanicals Ancora’s Amer is a masterpiece of co-maceration and balance. During its near century of production it was the chosen beverage of the Portuguese royal court and was a staple in Lisbon’s aperitif culture.