June 7, 2014
Happy Saturday Limoncello Lovers.
I’m reaching out from West Africa to officially welcome summer… The World Cup Approaches (Forza Italia!); Nonna’s great granddaughters will visit her for the first time; and of course, unofficially, the season Limoncello tastes the best.
Excuse the latest gap in correspondence. I have been diligently sacrificing my service, body and energy to a feature film currently shooting in Ghana. We’re 9 weeks in and the end is in sight. I’ll be back in the Limoncello lab in a month or so.
Despite consistently working 18 hour days in the jungle and averaging 4 hours of sleep a night, my nose and tongue are always on the lookout for the essential properties to make our learned potions. Like all my favourite cultures, Ghana maintains a moonshine-like traditional spirit that is almost 100% pure alcohol. Known as akpeteshie mirrors moonshine, it comes from distilled palm wine (another of Ghana’s gifts to humans). My cohorts Jay and King Luu duly appropriated for me the necessary amount, along with a jar and a bag of green lemons.
The delivery of akpeteshie in plastic old Alomo bitters bottles assured me that this operation was totally legit. I
bought rescued roughly 200 sugar cubes, whose future was likely closely tied to instant coffee, from the hotel restaurant to sweeten the pot. And using the measurements from the 500ml plastic water bottles on hand I had…ahem, roughly, everything I needed.
We’ve all heard the line: It’s not what you do, but how you do it that matters. Sometimes though, it’s not how you do it, it’s THAT you do it. The movie I’m shooting is the most difficult, most stressful, most disconcerting job I’ve ever been a part of. It tests me every day with things I didn’t know could be a test. But in the middle of it all, in the midst of the jungle, Limoncello was made and will be enjoyed, ice cold.
Soon it will be summer, not just on the equator. I will be back in New Orleans bottling more Yvelise using our normally strict standards. However, in a week’s time when this Limon-Akpeteshie-cello comes to life, I will enjoy it as much as any I’ve made beforehand. Cin-cin!