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L’Orangerie Monte-Carlo at the Cafe de Paris
Photo Source: orangerie.mc

Monaco’s First Orange Liqueur

L’Orangerie Monte-Carlo is the first 100% Monegasque liqueur. Made from the bitter oranges that grow alongside our boulevards, this liqueur has an authentic taste that has already delighted many people in the region.

Thanks to the work of a young Irish businessman and head of a health-food society who resides in the Principality, an original and authentic liqueur is now being created.

“I wanted to create a product that comes from the territory, that evokes Monaco and its agricultural history. Way before the casinos and the tourists, this was agricultural land. With the Roquebrun and Menton independence, here in Monaco, there are still 600 trees which produce between 10 and 15 tons of fruit per year. So, for a little Principality, it’s very interesting to have so much fruit.  It is used to make marmalade and orange wine, but recently a lot of it was being thrown out, so we made an accord with the government to recuperate the oranges and transform them into liqueur here” said Philip Culazzo, creator of L’Orangerie Monte-Carlo.

Philip Culazzo
Philip Culazzo, creator of L’Orangerie Monte-Carlo.
Photo Source: www.monacolife.net

The harvest of oranges takes place once a year in Monaco during the month of February. The harvest lasts one month and following tradition is done completely by hand. About 400 kilos of fruit are picked per day, fruits which give the liqueur its particular and 100% Monegasque flavor.

“We don’t use chemicals or coloring, so it’s completely natural. The trees in Monaco are not treated with pesticides. We peel the oranges, and treat them with alcohol to extract all the aroma, all the essential oils which give the fruit’s flavor to the liqueur. After that, we use our secret recipe which gives it its allure and unique character. We peel the oranges by hand and use the peel to make the liqueur. And, with the juice, we ferment it in vats and distill it. So on one side we make the liqueur and on the other, we make spirits,” said Philip Culazzo.

Because harvesting the oranges is done at the beginning of the year, the peels are frozen so they can be used throughout the year. The orange liqueur is ready first, and then the orange spirit is ready later in the year.

Photo Source: orangerie.mc
Photo Source: orangerie.mc

“The difference between the liqueur and the spirits is that spirits need to be aged. After distillation, they need to be aged for at least 6 months before they can be consumed. So, in the second half of the year, they will be bottled. We have to let it rest so it can age well and we can have an excellent product.”

L’Orangerie Liqueur Monte-Carlo has already seduced numerous establishments around the Principality and beyond. Presented in George V and in other French institutions, countries like Japan and the United States are showing interest in the product.

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