Tasting Notes with Jim Beauregard: A splash of lemon, bottled in SalemBy JIM BEAUREGARD July 31. 2018 8:54PM
Today we are paying a visit to Fabrizia Spirits, the Salem company owned and operated by Phil and Nick Mastroianni, with some samples courtesy of Jeff Mucciarone. They make limoncello and ready-to-drink cocktails. More on these in a moment.
Thanks to a family trip to Italy, Phil notes on the Fabrizia website, we have a limoncello maker here in the States. In Italy, they got to sample the homemade version and loved it, and began making it themselves when they got home. An uncle who was visiting tried it and said they should consider starting their own business to bring it to others.
They did just that, setting up shop in Salem almost 10 years ago. Today it’s available at New Hampshire state liquor stores and at many bars and restaurants around the state.
Let’s take a look at some of their products. All three are on sale for $16.99 for 750 mL bottles at state liquor stores.
Fabrizia Limoncello, 27% abv. The history of limoncello begins in and around Naples, Italy, including the island of Capri. Its traditional production process begins with zest from the lemons that grow so richly in the region. The peels of the lemon are steeped in spirits, the most common being grappa, and then mixed with a sugar syrup and oils extracted from the lemons. The ouzo effect, which means a spontaneous emulsification, gives limoncello its opaque character. Sounds complicated, but in reality it’s pretty straightforward.
In the glass, it’s opaque and a pale yellow in color. The lemon aromas leap from the glass to greet you. The palate is rich and full, sweet but not overpoweringly so, with smooth texture and flavors of lemon, lemon and lemon.
Fabrizia Limoncello Crema Liqueur, 26% abv. It’s limoncello with a twist. Here we have a medium-intensity beverage, also opaque, almost milky in appearance though not as heavy, as you can see when you pour. The nose is intense, with the lemon again coming to the fore. There’s a bit of alcohol on opening, so give it a few minutes to blend in. On the palate it’s sweet, with warming alcohol, full body for a liqueur, with pronounced flavor intensity, creamy texture and flavors of lemon and a hint of vanilla that are a bit more muted thanks to the composition. Delicious.
Fabrizia Blood Orange Liqueur, 26% abv. Oranges have peels too, and Fabrizia has employed the deep red of blood oranges for this liqueur. While very similar in appearance to the limoncello we started with, the nose is all orange, and the palate brings the intense flavor of blood orange that’s rich, off-dry, of medium acidity, and with a long pleasing finish.
Next week: Fabrizia makes Margaritas, too.
Contact wine and beer writer Jim Beauregard at email@example.com