Greenbar Fruitlab Orange is an craft distilled orange liqueur. It’s distilled in small batches at Greenbar Distillery in downtown Los Angeles, next to the Los Angeles River. The distillers at Greenbar start their tour with this spirit, and I can see why.
At first taste, it reminded me of another well known brandy based product from France, but to me, it’s smoother and tastes fresher like real oranges. Fruitlab Orange is made from fresh oranges grown in Southern California and cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners.
The wikipedia page for the French product says that it’s made from the “distilled essence of bitter orange”. Greenbar is made from fresh oranges – the real thing.
As an analogy, US coca-cola is made with high fructose corn sugar, and Mexican code is made with cane sugar. The cane sugar version isn’t as sweet, with more cola flavor.
It’s like the difference between a can of coke and a bottle of Mexican coke.
Greenbar uses three types of oranges, one each for sweetness, sourness, and bitterness. The oranges are brought to the distillery, washed, and hand zested. Yep, they bring in 2000 oranges, or lemons, or whatever citrus, and they have people on site, with hand zesters, to remove the zest from the orange.
They use the zest, not the peel, pith or juice. The effect is a delicious fresh fruit aroma and taste, with a balanced bitterness.
We enjoyed it with a float of an inexpensive supermarket Prosecco for a light Sunday afternoon sparkling cocktail.