My Tour of Fabrizia Limoncello

I was invited to tour the production facility of Fabrizia Limoncello recently, and I’d like to share the story in addition to the review. Reviewing Fabrizia actually prompted me to post an update to my commercial limoncello review page because there are a small number of very good commercial brands out there if you know where to look. As it turns out, the facility is only about a 30 minute drive from my house. I had no idea that commercial limoncello was produced in my area. I learned a lot, had a lot of fun and took a few pics for all you fellow limoncello lovers.

The owner of Fabrizia, Phil, and his operations manager Mike gave me a tour of the facility. That’s Phil in his office:
IMG 4214 e1388629275129 My Tour of Fabrizia Limoncello

The facility itself was not huge, though this was limoncello production on a scale that I’ve definitely never seen before. The large barrels of alcohol at one end of the room added emphasis to that point. As you can see below, they are all grounded by wires so they don’t…you know…explode. It looks like a great backdrop for an episode of 24.

IMG 4208 e1388629423588 My Tour of Fabrizia Limoncello

It’s a little strange to be that close to that much flammable material, but you get used to it quick. Especially when you see all the other neat stuff going on there. I took a look at their infusion process (more steeping peels than I’ve ever seen in one place) and their bottling process, complete with a bottling machine imported from Italy.

IMG 4209 e1388629315777 My Tour of Fabrizia Limoncello

IMG 4205 e1388629355957 My Tour of Fabrizia Limoncello

IMG 4206 e1388629393476 My Tour of Fabrizia Limoncello

Phil started Fabrizia with no prior experience in the industry so he earned his entrepreneurial stripes the hard way. He has a real passion for creating the best product he can at a fair price and I think it shows in the limoncello. I learned a lot during this tour but I’ll boil it down to the lessons I think most readers can use, and this first one is money.

Quite by accident, Phil and Mike discovered that the real key to minimizing or eliminating the film that forms on top of the limoncello is to allow the simple syrup to completely cool before mixing it with the infused alcohol. Any heat in the simple syrup somehow separates some of the oils from the infusion and forms the film. How’s that for a useful tip!

As you can see from the pic below, Phil shares my interest in rigorous experimentation. He keeps samples from each of his batches for the long term. He said he disagrees with my recent post claiming that limoncello doesn’t go bad over time. He says that it retains peak flavor for about 8 months after production and then begins a slow decline. My one-off observation really doesn’t compare to his wall of evidence so I have to concede that point. I think “going bad” is the wrong description on my part though. Drinking old limoncello is still better than most things that can happen to you, but you can see from the color of the liqueur that it is losing something over time and a tasting on the spot confirmed it.

IMG 4210 My Tour of Fabrizia Limoncello

Another tasting we conducted at Fabrizia was of their new Blood Orange liqueur. I’ve made batches with various flavors and blood orange has long been my favorite non-lemon variety. I haven’t made a batch like that in a long time so I don’t have a reference point, but Fabrizia’s blood orange is a very tasty liqueur.

A huge thanks to Phil and Mike at Fabrizia for their hospitality!

Can Limoncello Go Bad?

One question that I often get from readers over email is “can limoncello go bad?” Quite accidentally, I am now able to give a pretty solid answer to that question. Within the past year I moved to a new house and I happened to belatedly unpack a box recently, finding a partial bottle of one of my old batches.

As you can see in the photos, it is from batch #4, a batch that I reviewed on the site so I know it’s about five and a half years old. It hasn’t been well cared for either, it was sitting in my basement at both houses. So I said what the heck, I’ll take this opportunity to see if this stuff holds up.

The verdict? It holds up very well! My main problem with this batch was a roughness in the flavor and all that time resting really subdued the alcohol. The limoncello was still flavorful and it is now pretty smooth as well. So, feel free to rest this stuff with impunity.

photo e1383502896493 Can Limoncello Go Bad?

Remnants of Batch #4

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Batch 4 Remnants cont.

Limoncello Martinis from New Hampshire

We took a trip up to the White Mountains in New Hampshire this past weekend and in the waning days of summer I took the opportunity to try a couple of martinis, both of which contained limoncello of course!

The first one is from the Gypsy Cafe in Lincoln, NH. If you’re ever in the White Mountains and looking for a spot to eat, this joint is not to be missed. There really aren’t that many first-class places to eat up there but the Gypsy could stand its ground even if it were located in Boston. The food is really excellent. The drinks aren’t bad either and this one was a treat. I don’t have the exact proportions, but here is the ingredient list:
Absolut Citron
Limoncello
Crema di Limoncello
Muddled lemons

Limoncello martini Limoncello Martinis from New Hampshire

This next one is a Black Raspberry Martini from Foster’s Boiler Room restaurant in Plymouth, NH. The food here is also very good and the ambiance of the old boiler room turned sports bar/restaurant is worth checking out if you’re in town or staying at the Common Man Inn there. I don’t have the ingredients of this drink but it was every bit as good as it looks and black raspberry puree figured prominently into it.

black raspberry martini Limoncello Martinis from New Hampshire

Amazing Wedding Favors

Readers David and Kelly crafted a herculean batch of limoncello to provide as favors to guests at their wedding. They were kind enough to send along some pictures and allow me to publish them, which is fantastic because I couldn’t adequately describe the beauty of the end result. Check this out:

lemons vodka Amazing Wedding Favors

Image courtesy of David DiGiammarino

Mason jars Amazing Wedding Favors

Image courtesy of David DiGiammarino

boxes limoncello Amazing Wedding Favors

Image courtesy of David DiGiammarino

wedding display Amazing Wedding Favors

Image courtesy of Steph Stevens Photo

wedding favors Amazing Wedding Favors

Image courtesy of Steph Stevens Photo