We've already got Italians to thank for quite a lot of the citrus we use in our drinks over here, and now they're behind a purée and syrup range that's being launched in the UK market this month, too.
ODK has been around in Italy for over 20 years, and started exporting its products in 2009; they're now available in the UK through a partnership with British bartenders Andy Collinson and Tom Dyer (pictured top, L-R).
The range includes purées and syrups, along with two 'creams' in chocolate and pistachio flavours. Purées include traditional flavours, plus ones such as mandarin, papaya and watermelon. Lime sour, grenadine, and sweet and sour are some the most original syrups flavours among the likes of vanilla and orgeat. There's 26 products available in total here, out of a larger range of about 60 made by the Italian brand.
All the products are made between the company's two plants in Palermo and Milan, using locally-grown fruit for flavours such as lemon and mandarin, or bought in fruit purées in other cases. Collinson told Imbibe that the making process involves mixing 30% to 60% fruit pulp with water and sugar. 'Everytime we were using purées, we'd always add a little sugar in our final cocktails,' he said. Here there's already sugar so you don't need to add much sweetener, and it helps stabilise the product.'
The mixers last a year unopened, and three months at room temperature after opening. The bottles have squeezy tops for ease of use behind the bar, with a built-in valve to avoid air getting into the bottle.
Collinson and Dyer spent the past 12 months testing the products around the UK, with notably the London Cocktail Club adding them to its back bars. Starting early 2016, the pair will be going around the UK to introduce bartenders to the products. An expansion of the range is already planned, with a range of essential oils in the works.
Purées: £7.20/750ml; syrups: £4.25-£6.55; creams: £7.95-£8.25, ODK Mixers, 020 3538 6806