As a college student in Lucerne, Switzerland, a blood orange for dessert represented a happy, sensuous, glamorous treat.
This Examiner can readily conjure the rich, zesty taste and intoxicating aura of the Italian blood oranges that were occasionally offered at the school’s dining facility.
So when the invitation from Solerno hit this food and drink reviewer’s in-box, there was little to do but re-arrange schedules and research this Sicilian tasting trial.
This Examiner invited Charles, her trusted expert in all things Sicilian (among other things that are mainly relating to horticulture), to help better discern Solerno’s authenticity.
The tasting event was enhanced by the launch of the liqueur’s marketing communications outreach, serving as a focal point for Solerno’s drink news.
Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur is made exclusively on the island of Sicily but the tasting event was pure New York sophistication: high up at The Humphrey - and looking out to a Salerno video being shown on a building across a streetscape courtyard area.
The video was created just for Solerno in the same event space – and stars three gorgeous and talented Mommy Bloggers who stylistically showcase their recommendations about how to best serve Solerno.
The three women: Nicole, Julie and Christine, are friends in real life and were selected because they are “real women” who can tell how to make Salerno part of an entertaining experience with honesty and authenticity according to Emily Spurr, Head of Content & Media Strategy, SwellShark, the company that produced the video for Solerno.
When asked the goal of the video, Spurr explained it is part of the December online campaign; the video creates a Solerno social presence and helps launch the brand’s product locator that makes finding where to order or buy Solerno easier. “It brings Solerno to life,” she added.
When asked why one needed to look up a Solerno “locater” on the web and video site, it was said in order to direct would-be drinkers to their local, hometown availability.
Yet, if one doesn’t know what to ask for how can it lead them to where it’s available?
It was said that female bloggers were selected to amplify the hostess and hospitality elements of the drink… hmmm.
The video stars and bloggers explained they sought to help tell Solerno’s story about “how easy it is to entertain and have a good time. As Mom’s they can readily encourage other mothers “To put yourself first – even for a bit of time.”
It is indeed a thoughtfully rendered video narrative with chapter elements about “Date Night,” “Brunch,” and a “Cocktail Party” and the women share their recipes and tips on entertaining.
The video can be seen on Solerno media and on YouTube, or here:
The video as backdrop to the tasting was supremely cool; in real life, somewhat of a distraction.
Don’t get me wrong – the video is an intriguing, marketing phenomena.
But the taste of Solerno is so sublime that it alone will create loyal, fanatical fans.
Say Hello to Solerno
For those not yet familiar with this soon-to-be upscale, uptaste liqueur, a bit of a Saluté is in order.
First introduced to the US market in 2009, Solerno hails from the Sicilian city of Salerno - which translates to sun (sole) so it’s in keeping with the sunny island’s dedication to its natural blood oranges and their macerated zest that makes for an artisanal taste that needs no embellishments.
The makers understandably wax somewhat poetic about the production of Solerno, saying, “Each exotic blood orange is hand plucked at the height of its short growing season from sun drenched groves on the slopes of Mount Etna. At the Agrumeria Corleone, where five generations of the Corleone family have extracted prized essential Sicilian citrus oils, the finest fruit is processed within 24 hours to maintain the fresh, ethereal nature of the oil. The fresh essential oil of the blood orange is married with Italian lemon.
Given the recent volcanic eruptions of Mount Etna, Solerno liqueur is surely destined to become more rare and in limited supply.
The Corleone reference (!) stirs strains of the “Godfather” soundtrack… and perhaps enhances the Sicilian lore…
Solerno Cocktails & Recipes
Truth is, Solerno is a better, perhaps more authentic blood orange liqueur – especially when compared with Cointreau or Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec all of which taste heavy and syrupy, in this Examiner’s opinion.
With one sip of Solerno, the comparisons are laid to rest.
The tasting notes of Solerno liquor burst with “whole-fruit blood orange, red berries, orange blossom, and a hint of bright lemon.”
There is a balance of tartness and sweetness, that allows Solerno to mix well with others as a base spirit as well as a modifying sweetener and shines equally in classic cocktails, original creations, and Italian inspired aperitifs, including a fellow Italian’s: the Venetian bartender, Giovanni Cipriani, who created the Bellini – which he named after a favorite painter.
The sexy Solerno Bellini is made with one part Solerno Blood Orange liqueur to five parts Presecco over ice and served with an orange slice.
The equally exotic mimosa is upgraded with Solerno. Trade out the Triple Sec and mix Solerno with Champagne or Presecco and orange juice. This Examiner suggests using fresh-squeezed to match the fresh authenticity of Solerno.
Solerno Liqueur is Versatile
Take this Examiner’s simple advice and stock up on Solerno for the holidays.
It’s that good.
Tasting it on the rocks or mixed in cocktails, one finds the liquid sunshine is so distinctively elegant, easy-on-the-lips and a light, refreshing sensation.
Solerno is sure to add to the burgeoning, exciting, Cocktail Culture – it harmonizes with other tastes and yet can boldly stand on its own.
Just think what Solerno can add to sweet and savory food recipes, as well.
It’s a great holiday gift and hostess gift too – as the hospitality stars of the video will attest, I’m sure.
The Salerno bottle is beautiful.
It can be said it is in keeping with Italian works of art; inspired by Murano glass, it has a punt that is also inspired – by a citrus squeezer!
Christmas Eve and the Feast of the Seven Fishes
In fact, Solerno could serve as a perfect ending to the Christmas Eve supper of the “Seven Fishes” (which, by the way, no self-respecting Italian American has ever been able to explain where or how the seven came into play …)
But who cares about that when it comes to the food itself?
When one has eaten seven or 20 courses of fish there can be no more delightful topper than to sip a Solerno on the rocks – or straight up.
Forget the Sambuca – enhance the Italian experience -- every night, in fact, with Solerno.
My authority on all things Sicilian, Charles, explained another Salerno homegrown, island connection: in Sicily, the blood orange drink is traditionally seasonal and is enjoyed after the first frost – and in time for the Christmas holiday season.
Now, go tell friends about how good Solerno is and let them know how they can locate a few bottles of this liquid sunshine.
Suggested retail price is $36.99
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