I first heard of Bloomery SweetShine earlier this year when they decided to close their doors in response to state regulations that they claim made the business unprofitable. Legislation was introduced to help minimize the problems they were experiencing, and they opened back up shortly thereafter.
Since I was in the area, I swung (is swung a word?) by for a tasting. We arrived as a party was finishing up, so we took a quick tour of the greenhouse beforehand and saw the lemons growing. Then, as it started to rain, we went inside to begin our tasting. One straggler stayed back from the crowd and, shall we say, she probably had a bit too much limoncello.
Bloomery Plantation Distillery produces Bloomery SweetShine, which is a line of fruit cordials. After the owners took a trip to Italy in October 2010, they were on the search for the best limoncello in America. That quickly translated into a mission to make their own. They bought land for the distillery, started growing lemons and raspberries from their own farm and produced limoncello, with more than 20 international awards. The SweetShines also include a chocolate raspberry, a peach shine, their proprietary raspberry lemon and a cremma lemma.
Our bartender - or "fun"tender as they say - was fun, he showed us some great drinks we could make with the various limoncellos, and I ended up leaving with a raspberry limoncello. They're all quite tasty, and they all mix well to make even better drinks. What's your favorite?