Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the spirits discussed here were provided at no cost in exchange for my honest review.
I had the opportunity to sample four offerings from Fabrizia Spirits, a family-owned business launched in 2008 with the introduction of its Limoncello. Specializing in small batch ready-to-drink cocktails and fruit liqueurs, Fabrizia sent me bottles of its Blood Orange, Italian Margarita, Limoncello, and Cream Limoncello.
An aspect of these products that had instant appeal is that they know no season. While some drinkers’ sipping preferences might swing toward the likes of daiquiris and rosé wine during the warm season, or to Fall and Winter options laced with flavors like pumpkin and cinnamon, the four selections feel at home in the glass year-round. Poolside or fireside, there’s no bad time for a cocktail that bursts with the tart sweetness of California blood oranges and lemons, or the smoothness of cream laced with lemon essence. This, along with Fabrizia Limoncello’s 2012 gold medal win at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, boded well for the sampling experience I would undertake, beginning with the Blood Orange.
Having tasted a fair number of other blood orange liqueurs, I was pleased with Fabrizia Blood Orange from first sip, and consider it without hesitation to be the best that I’ve tried. This product avoids two pitfalls I have encountered too often with others of its ilk: a syrupy first impression wherein the taste of oranges is secondary to an aggressive sugar level, and an artificial taste that mimics fruits the beverage does not actually contain. With Fabrizia Blood Orange, fresh, pronounced fruit flavor bounds onto the palate, and the impression given is of actual juice and blood orange peels rather than an attempt to duplicate the taste of them. The fruit’s natural tartness joins that crisp nature to lend a sense of refinement to a product that while sweet, does not wield said sweetness like a hammer.
The Italian Margarita is a ready-to-drink cocktail in a bottle, a convenience that cannot be overstated when one is pouring in a multiple-guest setting like a party or a barbecue. Fabrizia makes a good one that hits the expected citrus and tequila beats. The perception of alcohol when it is tasted is marked (perhaps due to Fabrizia Limoncello being among its components in addition to the tequila). This is an attribute bound to either please or daunt drinkers, depending on how strong each person likes their margarita. A slightly diminished alcohol character would round some of its rougher corners and lend a smoother texture, however I can find no fault with its flavor or sweetness level. It offers a solid option to those who like their margarita on the stronger side, as well as a great base upon which to build a cocktail with additional ingredients.
The Limoncello and Cream Limoncello are both notable for how strongly the essences of fresh lemon zest and juicy fruit pulp declare themselves. Here again, Fabrizia’s usage of real fruit (and in the case of the latter of the two, fresh Wisconsin dairy cream) pays huge dividends in terms of authenticity of flavor. Both in terms of aromatics and taste, the drinking experience begins and ends with impressions of fresh ingredients handled with care and pride. While either would be delicious enough sipped alone, each of the two lend themselves to innumerable usages not limited to cocktail-building. A bowl of lemon sorbet made with Fabrizia Limoncello or a warm sponge cake soaked with it would brighten up any holiday table or celebratory setting. Drizzling the Cream Limoncello over ice cream, mixing it into whipped cream, or adding it to a sherbet recipe seems a reliable way to breathe new life into each. There’s without a doubt something to be said for the freshness of small batch spirits that are free of preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. Fabrizia Spirits is saying it loudly.
Learn more about Fabrizia Spirits at www.fabriziaspirits.com.
This article first appeared on FlavorfulWorld.com.