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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)


Published in Booze
Saturday, 05 August 2017 16:27

We buy with the eyes

Simone Caporale (interviewed on faces) at a recent REAL fruit purees presentation , has shown various alternative uses of the purees to enhance the flavors of various cocktails. He has based his suggestions on classic combinations but changed ingredients and flavors to come to similar results but with new taste. Some of the suggested combinations were (a)Tequila, watermelon juice, fresh coriander leaves, dry sherry, agave syrup (b) Bourbon, sauvignon blanc, lime juice,  Pineapple puree, bitters. 

Simone maintain that a puree can sometimes bridge certain ingredients and not necessarily win the taste of the cocktail but just add some refreshing almost unidentified notes to the palate.

Here is a cocktail in a tulip glass dipped in icing sugar for effect using brandy with triple sec, maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon juice and blueberry puree as a bridge!



Simone’s  presence and experience  were definitely inspiring and educating to all the participants in the presentation as he passed on various aspects of bartending based on his beliefs . He spoke of bartenders to  respect classic recipies and rules but encouraged attempts  to experiment and break the rules even with the possibility of failure as there would be no development and progress in the field.


Published in Booze
Thursday, 03 August 2017 00:04

Simone Caporale

"…………… get inspired of what others do and adapt it to something newer."
Simone Caporale


. You are one of the most charismatic new generation bartenders that have walked many red carpets of success since you left young from hometown Como. As you said to an interview, people on a night out need an experience otherwise they can drink at home. How do you stage yourself as a bartender in front of a customer without being repetitive in creating this experience?

I generally start from zero, any time… those first 30 seconds of talking with a new guest are the most important in order to “read” his/her personality and get the best option of drink….


. Fresh fruit vs. Fruit puree?

If you have seasonal fruit at the maximum of its characteristic you should use it fresh, otherwise a fruit puree can be the best option that guarantee consistency through a longer period of the year…


. How flexible do you find yourself from when you started to today in using ingredients, and techniques to arrive to the same result?

Flexibility is what assures you stability. Saying this, to make a good ingredient you must adopt good starting produce… you can get to a closer result to what you have planned originally if you know how to handle certain basic elements… I said closer, because also some ingredients are never the same during the whole year and this means that your drink constantly have a small variations, sometime unnoticeable.



. Lately you have been inspired by a line of perfumes or fragrances to mix with Tanqueray No. Ten for the Sartoria in London’s Mayfair. Give us some examples of what ingredients have you used to arrive to similar cocktail ambiance as a fragrance.

I did some cocktails using the same aromatic absolutes which form part of the aromatic structure of a perfume or an aromatic cosmetic… absolutes are very strong and powerful, basically undrinkable, so I had to dilute them up to 1 or 3 % and that’s what was the cocktail…. People were actually drinking what makes a real perfume. Simply diluted.


. London loves charismatic Chefs and Bartender professionals and treats them like Rock stars. Going back to the Roux Brothers, Nico Ladenis, Marco Pierre White, Brian Silva, Giuliano Morandin, Salvatore Calabrese, and more…At what stage of your career did you feel that the London system is loving you too and has opened your wings to fly to a new world?

The first and most real love any bartender can receive in the whole world and not just in London is the expectation and appreciation form a guest in the bar…that’s the real thing that moves all the rest of the energies…. You don’t need a system that allows you to spread your wing. You need a work environment, colleagues, managers who trust you and give you the freedom to be professionally creative…

Most of rock stars must do a show.. and shows generally are fake… or too much planning to be kept real… 



. Especially after the collaboration with Jamie Oliver on drinks tube you are an inspiration to many bartenders and ‘wanna be you’! What would be the five descriptive words that you feel should describe a true professional bartender today?

1. Don’t be afraid of making mistake

2. Keep in mind that you can not please everyone, someone will be always less positive or not keen on you.

3. Don’t work for free, especially when is related to a multimillion dollar spirits company

4. Don’t copy or replicate someone else, work for getting personal credit, get inspired of what others do and adapt it to something newer.

5. Remember that time is the most precious thing and the one you have lost it can not come back again.


. Name some of the most unusual ingredient combinations you have used in a cocktail so far.

Kiwi manhattan

Figs and chinotto

Cashew fruit and uni blanc

Abalone and pomelo



. When you take your suit off and with your casuals showing your tattoos (!) as a customer to a simple bar what would you drink?

I have stopped wearing a suit 5 years ago when I saw that it became a forced stereotype in global scale cocktail competitions… you don’t need a suit to be better or look better… it takes few second to define a person from being genuine or not…

I would drink everything… but now I have reduce my drinking habits up to 90%... I taste a lot but I don’t drink that much anymore…I’m getting old !!!


. How do Real fruit purees compare to whatever is available on the market?

Cheap things are not good. Good things are not cheap…

The difference its obvious. There is REAL fruit into it and you can see it by the natural sediments that occur and a shorter shelf life…I love to use them because I know what I get and they give me a lot of inspiration when I play with new flavor combinations.


. Pair the following ingredients to a drink

1. Smoked Haddock with horseradish and orange segments


2. Honey glazed five spice duck


3. Gyro tower with tzatziki layers


4. Artichokes with parmesan flakes on a soy and honey glaze



Simone Caporale, one of the most successful bartenders of the new generation. He started from coffee bars in beautiful Como, his home town, and little that he knew that going to London the world just opened up in front of him. International brands employed him as an Ambassador while many awards of recognition came his way but one must not forget that this is after long hours of hard work. What he promises ti us is more creativity and many more projects ahead!


Published in Faces

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