According to market researcher Pulsar, London is the official gin capital of the world with 1.3 billion Gin & Tonics served in 2018.
No wonder that La Distillerie de Monaco’s first batch of the spirit sold out in mere weeks after it was featured as the Gin of the Month in the May 2020 issue of the British magazine Ginned.
“As we were closed to the public during lockdown, it gave me time to concentrate on the citrus gin,” Philip Culazzo of l’Orangerie told Forbes Monaco at the drink’s official launch in Monaco last night. “And we had such good feed back from the largest members club for gin in the U.K.”
Culazzo, who is also a food trader, has just produced 18,000 bottles of Gin aux Agrumes (700 ml, €42)—what the 39-year-old describes as “a citrus explosion”—for the Monaco market. The 40% gin features juniper as the main ingredient, along with coriander, bitter oranges from Monaco, sweet oranges, lemons from Menton, grapefruit, limes, citron bergamote—as well as ginger, lemon thyme and Sichuan pepper.
Former Bar Américain bartender Corin Muresan mixing a G&T.
At the socially distanced tasting event on Tuesday evening, local bartender Corin Muresan of Sparkling Van concocted four cocktails—the Monaco GT, Negroni 1297 (gin, Cocchi Vermouth, Campari, organge rind), MC Matrinez, (l’Orangerie, citrus gin and fresh lemon) and Le Grimaldi (citrus gin, lemon syrup, sparkling wine, lemon rind).
Entrepreneur Culazzo founded Monaco’s only distillery, l’Organerie, in 2015 and set up his atelier on rue de la Turbie, just off Place d’Armes. By 2017, he produced an Orange liqueur using the Principality’s 600 bitter orange trees to extract an organic, 100% Made- in-Monaco liqueur of the same name. Today, some 10,000 bottles are produced annually.
Last November, the Dubliner introduced a second liqueur, La Carruba, made from the fruit of Monaco’s national tree, carob, delivering “all the taste of coffee and dark chocolate without the guilt.”