Fortunella orange liqueur to launch in UK

9th May, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Bartender Lukas Stafin has teamed up with Darius Plazewski of London’s Bimber Distillery to launch a new orange-flavoured liqueur, called Fortunella.

Fortunella is made from golden oranges, also known as kumquats

The new liqueur, which launches in the UK this month, has sold out of its first batch of 300 bottles ahead of release. The batch was sold in its entirety for export to the Far East.

Bottled at 36% abv, Fortunella is made in London from 100% natural ingredients including exotic golden oranges.

The idea for the liqueur was envisioned alongside the creation of the “first golden orange gin”. Following “curiosity” from initial trade contacts, the liqueur was released first.

Fortunella liqueur is said to have a “distinctive bitter sweet taste of golden oranges, combined with a fresh citrus aroma that make it less sweet than typical liqueurs”.

The golden oranges, also known as kumquats, are selected from China, India, South Africa and South America. The oranges are then hand-prepared through a four-stage, small batch process.

The name Fortunella comes from the discovery of the oval kumquat, which was introduced to London in 1846 by explorer Robert Fortune.

The bottle design takes inspiration from a brown pharmaceutical bottle and bears a label representing Chinese traditions of herbal remedies. A sketch of a golden orange tree, along with the words ‘golden orange’ in Chinese, are also on the label.

The liqueur is recommended served in a Margarita, or with soda or tonic over ice.

London-based Stafin has 15 years of experience in bartending and has worked in leading bars including Purl in Marylebone. Plazewski is founding director and distiller at Bimber Distillery in west London.

“The creation of Fortunella has been a very satisfying journey of taste discovery for me,” said Stafin. “As a bartender, I am passionate about creating drinks from scratch and have always looked for original new drinks, which can really deliver on natural flavour and have genuine potential for regular usage.

“The liqueurs sector offers so much innovation, and the adventure is in creating a product which stands out and goes a step further than what others have started to do.

“In Fortunella I have meticulously sourced the most aromatic fresh fruits and trialled many production techniques to retain their taste sensation and achieve an unusually low level of sweetness balanced by a dry finish; then tasted and refined it with bar colleagues whom I respect for their critical palate and hands-on bar expertise.”

Fortunella liqueur has an RRP £30 (US$39) per 500ml. It will be available in the UK from Speciality Drinks and online specialist retailers.

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