Bartender Lukas Stafin has partnered with Dariusz Plazewski of west London’s Bimber Distillery to create a new orange-flavoured liqueur called Fortunella.
The 36% ABV liqueur is made from 100% natural ingredients. Golden oranges, also known as kumquats, are selected from China, India, South Africa and South America. The fruit is hand-prepared through a four stage, small-batch process.
Fortunella is said to have a “distinctive bitter sweet taste of golden oranges, combined with a fresh citrus aroma that make it less sweet than typical liqueurs”.
The brand’s signature serve is the Fortunella Margarita, a twist on a classic mix with tequila and fresh lime. The liqueur can also be enjoyed with soda or tonic over ice.
The name Fortunella reflects the discovery of the oval kumquat, which was introduced to London in 1846 by explorer Robert Fortune.
The bottle design replicates a clear brown pharmaceutical bottle, and bears a label representing Chinese traditions of herbal remedies. A golden orange tree is finely sketched by a calligraphy artist, alongside the words ‘golden orange’ in traditional Chinese.
Lukas said: “The creation of Fortunella has been a very satisfying journey of taste discovery for me. As a bartender, I am passionate about creating drinks from scratch and have always looked for original new drinks, which can really deliver on natural flavour and have genuine potential for regular usage.
“The liqueurs sector offers so much innovation, and the adventure is in creating a product which stands out and goes a step further than what others have started to do.
“In Fortunella I have meticulously sourced the most aromatic fresh fruits and trialled many production techniques to retain their taste sensation and achieve an unusually low level of sweetness balanced by a dry finish; then tasted and refined it with bar colleagues whom I respect for their critical palate and hands-on bar expertise”.
Having launched in the UK in May, Fortunella’s first batch of 300 bottles was sold in its entirety for export to the Far East. Lukas also has plans to launch a golden orange gin in the future.