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What a surprise that our trip to a Cocktail Factory was over-subscribed!
In November, to warm us up, and purely on a fact finding mission, we combined a short shopping stop at the “Espacio Mediterraneo” and a cultural visit to Cartagena Port with a two hour tour of the “Licor 43 Experience”.
Licor 43, or Cuarenta Y Tres, is a Spanish liqueur, made from citrus and fruit juices, flavoured with vanilla and other aromatic herbs and spices. It has a total 43 different ingredients, hence the name: some of which are only known to an inner circle from the founding Zamora family and theses are mixed and added in a locked room above the stills. The secret liqueur which dates back to Roman times was originally called Mirabilis (Marvellous).
The company was founded in 1924 in Cartagena where it has remained ever since, although it is also situated in Curaçao and Madagascar where other distilled beverages such as rum are produced.
The company moved to its current, modern premises, in 2012, where it also produces Pacharan and Limoncello.
Our visit started in the “Chill-out Zone” where we were given a short introduction and then offered our first tasting Coffee and Cream infused with Licor 43. We were then split into two groups; one visited the factory where a total of 15 people work on the shop floor but produce 9500 bottles per day. Apparently costs are kept to a minimum by the production line working between 7am and 3pm only. In 2012 they produced Seven Million bottles.
The second group were shown a promo video and then escorted around the museum getting to know the history and seeing how the product had been marketed through the ages. Apparently Licor 43 is available in UK but only in Harrods and…………ASDA!
We were then taken into the “Cube Sensation” which has surround sound and wrap around film screens for more promotional video.
Then it was back to the “Chill-out Zone” for a Ginger and Lime Cocktail followed by a Licor 43 “Beer” and nibbles. The subsequent queue for the shop was huge with a mad scramble for Christmas presents or possibly just for personal consumptive pleasures.