Last week, I had the lovely pleasure of tasting the new Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur which just arrived in Australia from Sicily 3 weeks ago.
Solerno launched in class at The Terrace Hotel and I was honoured to have Solerno Brand Ambassador, Jackie Patterson (who has flown to Australia all the way from San Francisco) make my Solerno Signature Serve cocktail…
The Solerno Signature Serve is 1 part Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur and 5 parts Sparkling Wine. Best served with plenty of ice and garnished with an orange slice. It was light and refreshing with notes of blood orange, red berries, orange blossom and a hint of lemon– a perfect Summer drink and end to the working week!
Knowing that the blood oranges are hand plucked from the slopes of Mt Etna, an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily makes it even more refreshing 🙂 The fresh essential oil of the blood orange is then extracted within 24 hours and blended with Italian lemon, a neutral spirit base and sweetened with natural sugar to create this beautiful liqueur.
The bottle is super cool too, there’s a glass orange juicer featured at the bottom of the bottle…
Solerno first launched in the US in 2010 and it’s exciting that William Grant and Sons (a family business of 30) is now bringing this new liqueur to Australia. William Grants and Sons General Manager, Brian Sharp, tells us that their aim is to get Solerno in the top 150 – 200 small bars and restaurants like The Terrace Hotel, Mechanics Inc, Purl Bar and Print Hall who serve cocktails across Australia.
Before entrees, Brian caught our attention by telling us he met Solerno Brand Ambassador Jackie for the first time in jail! Brian really had met Jackie in Alcatraz at a dinner event where she was making cocktails 🙂 and it wasn’t long after, that William Grant and Sons decided to bring Solerno to Australia.
This was also my first taste of The Terrace Hotel’s a la carte menu and I was really impressed. My saffron and curried mussel soup was beautiful. I think we all spent more time marvelling at the bowl than anything though (which you can’t really see as I’ve focussed in on the mussels in the below pic). The mussels had a soft subtle curry flavour and was a nice appetiser…
All the entrees looked great, Community News journalist Amy Hallett had this grilled haloumi, french beans, chicory & sundried tomato salad served with pita croutons, wild thyme & honey dressing as her entree.
Some of the other Solerno guests had this Chicken liver parfait with plum jelly, port poached pears and brioche, which looked pretty good…
As we enjoyed our entrees, Brian told us he had come from beer background before joining William Grant and Sons. So not surprisingly, Brian was a wealth of beer knowledge – his favourite Australian beer is Little Creatures Pale Ale, he rates it 7/10 but said if they were to remove the gas it’d be an easy 10/10 (he said this in more technical terms) 🙂
I only had time for mains and I am so glad The Terrace Hotel was able to rush mine through as my slow cooked Linley Valley pork belly, green apple tart, peanut and sage crumble, chilli cider caramel, fried squid and creamed cabbage was just amazing. The pork belly was beautifully tender, the fat had caramelised and the apple tart was a beautiful complement to the dish.
Solerno will be hitting the streets of Perth in March at selected bars, restaurants and boutique liquor merchants. Keep an eye out for the cool bottle – it’s expected to retail for around $70 for 700ml or like Solerno’s facebook page to be the first to know when / where Solerno will first be available.
Big thanks to William Grant and Sons for inviting me to Solerno’s Aussie launch event.