When we were in Italy a few years ago, our city to city tour had us on a no-nonsense schedule. While the ‘younger’ among us were happy to crash into bed after the multi-course dinners, Fanny from Kansas was hosting Limoncello parties. This eighty-something matriarch was coaxing her daughters, granddaughters and any other willing tourers to rustle up a glass, pad down in our pajamas and toast life with her favourite new frozen drink. “Have another glass of sunshine in a bottle.”
Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi – different regions of Italy claim to have invented this tasty, lemon-rind based potion. Limoncello is said to have ingivorated monks, warmed fisherman and cooled wealthy travellers. Here in Vancouver, the award-winning Long Table Distillery makes the traditional lemon digestif using hand-peeled, fresh lemon zest and blackberry honey from Hives for Humanity, a local non-profit .
Master Distiller Charles Tremewen and his wife and business partner, Rita, were inspired by their own limoncello tastings in Cinque Terre. Founded in 2013 and located on Hornby between Beach and Pacific, Long Table Distillery is focused on pure simplicity, organic ingredients, locally foraged botanicals and a small-batch approach.
‘Long Table’ gets its name from the hand milled sequoia redwood table – 14 feet long, 4 feet wide, 4 inches thick – that hosts the distillery’s tastings, limoncello and otherwise.
Master Distiller Charles, who graduated in 2011 from Michigan State’s Artisan Distilling Course, brews his magic in a 300-litre copper still crafted by Fritz Lang of CARL in Germany. Tremewen’s gin – Cucumber, London, Bourbon Barrel Aged – and his Texada Vodka have all won multiple Spirits Competition awards.
Wednesday through Saturday, Long Table Distillery hosts tastings, including Gin and Tonic Fridays which starts at 4 in the afternoon. Here’s to Kansas Fanny and Vancouver’s own sunshine in a bottle.
Written by Elizabeth Newton
Header Image: Still life with a gilded Beer Tankard.
Willem Claesz. Heda, 1634