Monday, 8 September 2014

British Limoncello from Demijohn - The Liquid Deli

Last week a box arrived at my door; I opened it up, rustled through the Wotsit shaped polystyrene, and pulled out a beautifully wrapped little bottle. Peeling back the tissue paper revealed an even bigger beauty; a mini glass apotheker - complete with cork - filled with an opaque yellow liquid. It could only be a sample of Limoncello from the fabulous Demijohn!

Demijohn products have featured a couple of times on Vinspire, but this was a first for me. The Liquid Deli hailing from up north – with stores in Edinburgh, Glasgow and York - source unusual hand-crafted liqueurs, spirits, oils and vinegars from around the UK and Europe, which they sell in a wide range of re-useable glass bottles. Their aim is to try and represent an underworld of small artisanal British producers, be it a retired PE Teacher, an ex Banker, or someone who simply has a bit of spare time on their hands. These are the kind of folks who genuinely, though maybe unexpectedly, make some of the loveliest liquids around, and with the addition of handwritten labels, the sincerity of it all really shines through.

So Limoncello, we’re all pretty familiar with it aren’t we? You might have spotted our Tim sipping it along the Amalfi Coast earlier this year, or you may even have tried using it in Laura’s Che Bello! (a Limoncello, raspberry and basil martini).

What’s different about this one then? Well, for a start it’s not Italian, it’s British; all hail British booze! And funnily enough, despite this sample travelling all the way from Scotland to get to me, it’s actually made only 45 minutes from my house over in Cirencester! Gloucestershire based Hilary Blackford is responsible for producing this 32% lemony liqueur, and you can get it from Demijohn for an inexpensive £5.40 per 100ml – minus the refillable glass bottle price. Brilliant value!

Most of us will already have an experience of it, probably in an Italian restaurant somewhere across the globe, but Limoncello is traditionally drunk either before or after a meal (both if you prefer!). It's also perfect for pairing with puddings or sploshing over ice cream or something equally as delicious. It’s a drink that begs to be ice cold, ideally straight from the freezer, which is exactly how I tried my sample bottle.

The first thing I notice is the colour, it’s not luminous like many other varieties I’ve seen in the shop; it’s a more appealing pastel-canary-yellow. It smells sharp and citrusy, making my taste buds tingle with excitement and my mouth water, and you get a big zesty lemon-oil aroma, which stays with you throughout the drink too.

Despite its sour scent, Limoncello is always a very sweet drink and this one’s no exception; it’s silky and syrupy but with a decent strength. I sometimes find Limoncello a little medicinal – not really a bad way - but with the sharp whip of lemon that you get on the finish, this variation seems more balanced. I only wish I had more to experiment with!

If you’re planning on buying some of this fine British liqueur from Demijohn, why not pick up some elderflower vinegar whilst you’re there too, then you can make their Lemon Weegie cocktail! Created to celebrate Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games, the Lemon Weegie is a refreshingly simple, long drink with a gentle surprise in its tail... It’s DEFINITELY time to say hello to ‘cello.

Photo: Rob Bertholf (CCL)
Lemon Weegie Cocktail (serves 1)

You'll need:
  • 2 measures of Limoncello
  • 1 measure of Elderflower Vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • Tonic Water
  1. Place plenty of ice in a tall glass and squeeze in a little juice from the lemon.
  2. Add the Limoncello Liqueur and Elderflower Vinegar.
  3. Top up with tonic and stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

No comments:

Post a Comment