Hold a bottle of Filfar up to the sunlight and savour its rich orange glow similar to the burnished colour of the most glorious sunsets. What better souvenir of time spent in Cyprus?
Filfar is a Cypriot Liqueur made from the Orange that grow in the citrus groves of Cyprus. However today Filfar also comes in Lemon and Mandarin varieties.
Filfar production was started by Takis Philippou. As a young lad he had often watched his grandmother make an orange liqueur using a recipe that her ancestors had inherited from the monks at Kantara, and some years later he decided to try and recreate the liqueur - and so Filfar was born. Takis produced Filfar until the Turkish invasion in 1974 - when production was unfortunately halted.
In the early nineties Demos Aristidou of Damaris Wines and Spirits met Takis, and bought the Filfar recipe from him, and so Filfar Orange Liqueur returned to the supermarket shelves.
Today up to 20 oranges of two different varieties and three different herbs are used to make each bottle and the mixture is matured for three months prior to bottling. Production begins in early December each year as the oranges are harvested in the nearby Phassouri Plantation and continues for four months. As much of the process is still done by hand, several seasonal workers join the company for this period.
Filfar Cyprus Liqueur can be found in Supermarkets across Cyprus, and is available through specialist distributors in several European countries. It is also produced in variety of sizes and and flavours.
You can drink Filfar neat as a warming after dinner beverage. Or you can make it into a cooling cocktail in the Summer months. It can also be used in food, for example Filfar is great to put into a Christmas Cake.
So when in Cyprus make sure you try some Filfar!
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