Local Lemons making Bella Chella Limoncello and garnish for spirits at Heidi Weitjens King Island Distillery, a customer favourite liqueur.
One of my Mum and Dad's favourite sayings, "waste not, want not," or "it is not how much you make it is how much you save," so it is only natural for me to get creative to be resourceful and save don't waste.
A friend in my Angel Club, Jim Benn, in his travels with his wife Sharon, fell in love with Italy and the Limoncello. One day in the King Island bakery over a lovely coffee, Jim said, "Heidi you should make Limoncello in your distillery, there are plenty of local lemons". So, that is the beGINing of the challenge to teach myself how to make a lovely lemon liqueur.
Bella Chella is crafted by labour of hh♡ love, but totally worth all the effort from the positive response from visitors at my cellar door. The 'mmmm's' compliments and five star reviews, makes me smile and realise that the effort is worth my while. It is rewarding for me to see people enjoy my handcrafted liqueur, made with local ingredients and love on King Island.
This creative name dreamt up by Heidi in the middle of the night is relative to it being a traditional Italian digestive drink to enjoy with dinner.
Calling the handcrafted spirit Bella Chella is that 'Bella' is a word known as describing beautiful in Italian, which I realised as it is often a greeting used by a friend, Azim. 'Chella' simply rhymes with Bella and it sounds great rolling of the tongue said with a bit a pizzaz and connects to the 'cello' part of Limoncello.
Aside from lemons being sourced from local's, people whom I have met visiting my distillery from Tasmania have also supplied lemons which they have looked after in their back yard. Such kindness and generosity fills my heart.
Saving the home grown lemons from going to waste, Shane Thomas my man, bought me a little dehydrator to experiment with. My patience dwindled after 10 hours and I ended up with semi dehydrated lemons which don't last as long but have plenty of flavour.
On a good day I will dedicate my attention for 12 hours remembering to rotate the five trays in the dehydrator, so every layer of sliced lemons has a chance to dry out a little better.
Visitors from Tasmania to King Island, who are now my friends, thoughtfully gifted me a dehydrator and some extra lemons and grapefruits, so now the 'hydrator twins', are put to work to dehydrate the unused part of all the lovely lemons, peeled, to make Bella Chella.
Cheers for now my Bella's
Heidi Weitjens - Passionate about handcrafting Limoncello from homegrown lemons and dehydrating and sharing the secret with customers the surprisingly easy way make a very smooth tasty beverage made on King Island.