Philip Culazzo first made a splash in Monaco when he opened l’Orangerie, the country’s only distillery, just over three years ago.
He started with a 100% made-in-Monaco liqueur using some of the Principality’s 600 bitter orange trees and today produces 10,000 bottles annually.
Last November, the Dubliner introduced a second liqueur, La Carruba, made from the fruit of Monaco’s national tree. “Carob is full of polyphenols that contain antioxidants, has virtually no fat and is both gluten- and caffeine-free,” Culazzo tells Forbes Monaco. “All the taste of coffee and dark chocolate without the guilt.”
Now, l’Orangerie has brought out the only gin made in the Principality, La Distillerie de Monaco gin aux agrumes. “Our citrus gin fully sold out in its first run and we are in the process of making more, which should be ready by the end of the month,” says the 39-year-old.
Described by Culazzo as “a citrus explosion,” Monaco’s 40% proof gin features juniper as the main ingredient along with coriander. “Then we add all the citrus that grow in the area—bitter oranges from Monaco, sweet oranges, lemons from Menton, grapefruit, limes, citron bergamote—as well as ginger, lemon thyme and Sichuan pepper.
La Distillerie de Monaco gin aux agrumes was featured as the Gin of the Month May 2020 in the British magazine Ginned. “I was surprised by the great reception in the U.K. and amazed that it sold out so quickly. I mean, this is the largest members club for gin in the country, which happens to be one of the biggest gin markets in the world.”
The 700 ml bottle (€42) adorned with a vintage art label of the Rock can be purchased at the atelier on rue de la Turbie. “We just reopened this week,” Culazzo says, “and invite gin lovers to stop by.”
The l’Orangerie distillery is also one of the local commerce participating in the Carlo gift card scheme launched by Antoine Bahri on May 4, deconfinement day. The Carlo platform offers a variety of gift cards, ranging in value and valid until end of 2020, at different shops in Monaco.
And until May 31, for each euro spent on a Carlo gift voucher, the government will add 10%. “You help support the local economy while saving money,” Bahri affirms.