“This year’s harvest is happening quite early. It has been a mild and relatively dry winter and the fruit has matured quicker than normal,” says Philip Culazzo, while collecting one of many boxes of bitter oranges being delivered to his atelier L’Orangerie – Monaco’s only distillery.

“But it is a really good fragrant crop, so we are happy!”

According to Philip, this year there will probably be eight to nine tonnes collected from 600 bitter orange trees that line the streets of the Principality. The fruits will be disinfected, washed, peeled – all by hand – and processed using a secret recipe to create the one and only Monegasque liqueur. 

The process from peeling to liqueur will take about three months but the shop offers plenty of last year’s crop already bottled to enjoy. 

Philip Culazzo, the owner of the L’Orangerie, is one of the guests of our new podcast series Monaco Talks where we share the conversations and stories about interesting people living and working in the Principality. We look forward to launching our first season of Monaco Talks very soon. 

PHOTO: Monaco’s street oranges arrive for processing Martina Brodie