Your first sip of Simoncello. That’s amore.
It all started around the turn of the millenium, when there was only one way Simon von Witt could return to South Africa after an extended sojourn in Italy…
There he had become accustomed to spending most of his days lying in a hammock that was tied between two olive trees in the garden of his hilltop villa somewhere near Sicily. He would watch passing goats chew their cud, listen to cicadas singing in the balmy summer air, contemplate the sun’s reflection off his fleet of vespas in the driveway, and appreciate the elegant lines of his most recently acquired Modigliani sculpture in the courtyard. All the while, the housekeeper Mario would bring him regular espressos and bowls of pasta, made with love by the villa’s chef Luigi.
Just before supper, Simon would rise from his hammock to harness some unused energy for the day, and head for the hills to run 42km in 2.5hrs (what he would call a leisurely pace). On his return he would round off another bowl of pasta with a digestive of lemon liqueur, an age-old Italian tradition that had become an integral part of his life in the country – now who would argue that Simon’s impeccable health could not be attributed to his daily after-dinner digestivo? It was his time to unwind. With just one sip of Luigi’s freshly pressed limoncello, he would feel all the stresses of the day drift away…
In time, Simon was no longer able to resist the consistently mysterious magnetic pull of Table Mountain, and so he returned to Cape Town. Anyone who’s ever lived near that mountain will know what I’m talking about. Who are we trying to kid – van Hunks and the Devil obviously met for far more serious reasons than a little pipe smoking contest….those bad boys were casting spells left, right and centre, and if you lived within a 100km radius of the flat-topped mountain, you were sure to be spellbound. Si, si.
So Italian villas and vespas were left behind, but there was one thing Simon could never let go…how was he going to live without the one and only true love of his life? Then in a blinding flash (think Harry Potter’s forehead) it came to him. There was a way he could make living so far from Italy bearable: what he needed to do was to create his own endless supply of limoncello right here in Cape Town! Semplice.
Considering the extreme nature of the situation (life or death – no questions asked), Luigi agreed to share his secret recipe with Simon.
First up came a single bottle of limoncello made with quirky organic lemons from his family residence, pure alcohol strong enough to render a small insect comatose in seconds, and sugar as sweet as your granny’s rose perfume.
Sure enough, it was a hit, and in keeping with Simon’s Italian nickname, Simoncello was born. Ja, ja, but that’s not the end. In no time at all, Simon decided to spice things up with a whole new range of mouth-watering, pupil-dilating and tummy-rumbling flavours. All ingredients strictly organic (of course). Chocolate, Cinnamon, Raspberry and Mandarin were added to the mix, and Capetonians started smiling a whole lot wider. Hey, you can smile like that too – all it takes is the first sip.
And that is the end of the story of the beginning of the hottest new organic liqueur range to hit the slopes of Table Mountain.