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Tourism created awareness, demand for export and increased production
05 Aug 2017

With its roots from the monks of Kantara, since the Venetian times of Cyprus (1450-1500 AC) the family Filipou inherited this unique recipie for FILFAR liqueur. The recipe was passed from grandmother to mother and daughter so that it’s production eventually begun to be bottled after 1940 in Famagusta. Today the distillery is at the village of Monagri just off from Limassol in Cyprus, producing other than Filfar orange also lemon, mandarin and bergamot liqueurs.

Filfar orange (34 % vol) is established amongst a few Cypriot spirits that Cypriots should be proud of like Zivania, the unique Anglia’s Brandy or Brandy in general, Comandaria etc.

 

Tasting notes of Filfar orange

An evident nose of orange leading to elements of perhaps chocolate aroma, slight mountain herbs and rather smooth palate with a slight burn. The soft burn gives way to a long lasting sweet orange taste and after taste.

 

Filfar development:

The truth is that tourism in Cyprus since its development in the early 70’s and in search of local produce has with time recognized a good authentic orange liqueur coming straight from Cyprus oranges. Cyprus oranges were regarded a delicacy in British grocery stores those days. Served at bars with ice or straight after a meal and a bottle to take back home as a holiday souvenir has definitely increased awareness, demand for exports and increased production.  One should remember that Cyprus in its early days had no system to promote its products to the world and at least since the standardized bottling of this product, if it wasn’t for the tourists the product would have stayed buried like many other production efforts.

Another factor to consider is that throughout the history of the island of Cyprus, its inhabitants never had the change to grow and develop feeling proud of the island’s products which is being proved through times by the lack of support and or the preference to imported products. Nowadays one should study the sudden explosion in using Pisco from Peru, or Mescal from Mexico, rough liquors at their original form and now refined , blended, infused or matured in some sort of method for marketing jargon by the drinks companies worldwide, only to all follow the new trends and not stay behind! Suddenly the Peruvians and the Mexicans have believed in their products buried years under their ancestor’s dreams! Now we have trendy Mescalerias in Mexico and the rest of the World……!  I am sure Zivania Cyprus mountain drink, Greek Tsipouro, Raki or any other hard liquor from Slovakia or Poland would have been also good enough to play with and mix in cocktails! But no spirit company went that road yet!!! So why Cypriots are not using and promoting their own products? Someone else is doing it for them ! Perhaps the tourists?

I wonder if Filfar is mixed with whisky and served with ice if it will taste better than Drambuie or if it is shaken with Zivania, basil etc if it can taste close to an Orange Caipirinha or mixed with any chocolate form in coffees, or cooked in a chicken dish with fresh Thyme or glaze a red meat with honey and peppercorns or………….Never ending ideas. Here are some cocktails created for Speakeasyhacker by a few bartenders around the island.

 

Dimitris Koumbarou

Dimitris as an inquisitive Bartender, continuously researching  and experimenting with new products. After professional training he has been worked at Ritual lounge Soma, Guru bar and now the Bartender in charge of the The Lounge at Napa Plaza hotel in Ayia Napa. 

Ginger and coriander Daquiri

4 cl Capucana Cachaca

3 cl Filfar Lemon liqueur

1.5 cl Fresh Lime

1.5 cl Real Ginger Puree

Fresh coriander leaves

Bashed lemon grass for garnish

(Method shake and strain into a chilled martini glass)

 

Giorgos Ashiotis

Giorgos comes from Cyprus. He is studying deep into the subject of mixology with his fort being Notes and Spirits label & bar in Nicosia. He has been participating many competitions in an effort to enlarge his experiences. His inspiration comes from his favorite book ‘ Liquid Intelligence ‘

Morning Nest

6 cl Buffalo Trace Bourbon infused with pistachio oil

1.5 cl Dolin rouge

1.5 cl Noilly Prat

1 cl Filfar orange

1 cl cold brew coffee syrup

(Shake and strain into a glass with ice and garnished with caramel thread)

 

Pavlos Aslanides

Pavlos comes from Thessaloniki/Greece where he has worked with many teams at reputable bars such as Vogatsikou 3 and Spitaki Cocktail Bar. He took part in many bartending competitions with distinction. He declares a rum fan while amongst the people that inspired his is Ago Perone and Marian Beke on the knowledge of ingredients. Pavlos is currently the head of Bar operations at the Columbia Beach and Columbia Restaurants.

From Cyprus To Japan 

3 cl Filfar Mandarin 

4.5 cl Masticha Skinos

Drops of rose water

3 cl fresh lime Wasabi paste 

(Shake all ingredients with ice and strain in a tumbler with ice. Top up with crushed ice and garnish with lemon and pink peppercorns) 

 

Marios Evripidou

Marios comes from Cyprus and has been a key player bartender at the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol since 2009. He represents the hotel in various bartender competitions while he is studying the subject of mixology through International Bar schools and academies.

4.5 cl Pergamot  

3 cl Tanquaray gin

4 cl freshly squezed  pomigranate juice

2 cl passion puree

(Shake with ice and pour in a tumbler, topped with crushed ice and garnish with passion fruit and mint)

 

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