Members of Bradley Mitton's Club Vivanova gathered last night for an authentic taste of Monaco at L'Orangerie. Surrounded by polished copper stills and shiny stainless steel drums, the smart set sipped Monaco Spritzs, mixed by owner Philip Culazzo. The drinks use a good measure of his orange liqueur poured over ice, topped up with prosecco and garnished with orange peel.
|Polished copper still|
To find out more, the group descended a spiral staircase into a bright, clean cellar workshop. The liqueur is one of the very few artisanal products that is made in Monaco. Around 600 bitter orange trees line the Principality's boulevards, and during January and February the fruit is harvested. Some 85% of the crop ends up at L'Orangerie, where its peel is macerated in order to extract the essential oils and aroma, key ingredients of the liqueur. Within three weeks it is ready to drink. The fruit's juice is destined to be fermented then distilled to create an eau de vie, the first bottles of which will be ready in 2020.
Two years is a long time to wait for a drink. In the meantime, there are plenty of bottles of L'Orangerie liqueur available in the shop in Monaco, and we are sure that Philip can advise on suitable cocktails.
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