For Josh Morton, a lesson in the making of limoncello, a century-old lemon flavored liqueur popular throughout Italy, might have begun with old-school technique, but soon evolved into something a bit more groundbreaking.
“A friend of mine taught me how to make limoncello, but said you can do all sorts of things by changing the ingredients you’re macerating,” he said. “At one point I tried ginger, and all of my friends loved it.”
Soon Morton was making batches of it for friends, and after nearly two years of focused recipe development, launched his creation commercially with Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur.
Still utilizing completely fresh ginger and no extracts or chemicals, the liqueur is similar in recipe to its beginnings in Morton’s kitchen, if now on a bit larger scale, brewed up right in Sunset Park’s Industry City.
And while Morton generally served his creation straight over ice to his friends, in the hands of the city’s creative mixologists, he’s seen Barrow’s Intense evolve into an array of cocktails.
“It works with bourbon, whiskey, mescal,” he said. “I’ve even seen it put in milkshakes.”
A Manhattanite (the Barrow references Barrow St., where he lives), Morton said he’s found a welcoming liqueur community in Sunset Park, where many local spirits are brewed.
“There’s a lot of other makers here,” he said, “They allow you to continue to grow and they’re so supportive of the maker community, which is great.”