Mirto (licòre/-i de murta in Sardinian, licòr di mortula in Corsican) is a popular liqueur in the islands of Sardinia, Corsica and Capraia. It is obtained from the myrtle plant through the alcoholic maceration of the berries or a compound of berries and leaves. Myrtle grows freely in Sardinia, where the liqueur was consumed as part of a local niche market, in two varieties: the one with black berries and the other one with the white ones; legend has it that, long ago, Sardinian bandits introduced this particular usage of the plant to the nearby island of Corsica, where the liqueur has also been considered a traditional drink since then.
There are two varieties of myrtle liqueur:
- Mirto rosso (simply "murta" or "black myrtle") is made with the berries of the black variety and is sweet.
- Mirto bianco ("murta arba" or "white myrtle") is made with the berries of the white variety or, less commonly, from young leaves.