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Ventura County's Support-Local Program

Not Just Another Tequila Sunrise

Award-winning Ventura County beverage makers Ventura Limoncello and Tequila Alquimia combined to produce two memorable concoctions. Here’s their story.

Ventura Limoncello & Tequila Alquimia combine to produce two memorable concoctions that define VC

Dr. Adolfo Murillo of Tequila Alquimia and James Carling of Ventura Limoncello Company

Dr. Adolfo Murillo of Tequila Alquimia and James Carling of Ventura Limoncello Company

Ventura Limoncello Company – Ingredient One

vc-partners-limoncelloJames Carling and Manuela Zaretti-Carling’s mission is for the Ventura Limoncello Company to be the premier producer of Limoncello liqueurs in the United States.  Their operation, located in Ventura County, is home to some of the world’s best lemons, which enjoy a year-round growing season.  Based on a recipe handed down from Manuela’s grandmother, Ventura Limoncello Originale (as well as the Limoncello Crema and Orangecello) has won many coveted awards since the company was founded in 2007, including Best Limoncello in America four years in a row.

The Carlings are firm believers in using local ingredients whenever possible.  In addition to the lemon peels, which come from Limoneria and the Petty Ranch, the blood oranges used in making the Orangecello are sourced from Old Gold Farms in Somis.

Tequila Alquimia – Ingredient Two

vc-partners-tequila-alquimiaWhile Dr. Adolfo Murillo’s Tequila Alquimia has an Oxnard base, their premium, 100-percent organic products are made from blue agave harvested from the Murillo ranch in Jalisco, Mexico.  They have won 25 gold medals in the past five years, and the Murillo family is committed to sustainable agriculture and farm worker health in Mexico and community contribution both in Mexico and the United States.

The Margarita Mix Off – Mix the two ingredients

When it came time to enter the Conejo Valley Soroptimist’s Margarita Mix Off, it was natural for the Carlings to reach out to another local source – Dr. Adolfo Murillo of Tequila Alquimia.  The Carlings met Murillo through joint attendance at many local functions, including those hosted by Totally Local VC.

The results – refreshing and beautiful to behold

Together, these VC beverage barons produced some refreshing results that are also beautiful to behold – and they aptly represent the vibrant, rich, but casual lifestyle that is Ventura County.  vc-partners-comboThe first margarita cocktail, named the 101, combines Ventura Limoncello Originale and Tequila Alquimia Blanco with the Alquimia Margarita Mix (a combination of fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice and agave nectar). The result is a crisp lightly sweet, citrusy drink with a lemon hint, reminiscent of a refreshing coastal breeze.  Like the 101, the 805 starts with the same margarita mix, but the similarities end there.  Made with the Orangecello with Alquimia Resposado Tequila, the 805 has smoky rich flavor with orange peel spice. This is a sipping margarita, deep and resplendent, much like enjoying a Ventura County sunset.

As both Ventura Limoncello and Tequila Alquimia are ardent supporters of Totally Local VC, these specialty margaritas have been served to welcome guests and as after dinner toasts at the acclaimed Totally Local VC Dinner Series.   The custom cocktails are also periodically available at local establishments such as Yolanda’s, Barrelhouse 101 and Andre’s 805.

Businesses that are “local from within

The Carlings believe that, “Ventura Limoncello, and ventures with other local businesses like Tequila Alquimia, is really about promoting Ventura County and the 805 lifestyle.”  They have already reached out to incoming vendors to discuss possible synergies for the future.  vc-partners-quoteAccording to Totally Local VC founder, Kat Merrick, “The Totally Local VC ethic is based not only on supporting local businesses, but we also ask those businesses to be ‘local from within’ by supporting each other. Businesses like Ventura Limoncello are great examples of these efforts. They are locally owned and operated, source their ingredients locally whenever possible and continually give back to our community.”

While the 101 and the 805 are certainly not your typical margaritas, Ventura County is also not your average place to live or do business.  Both Ventura Limoncello and Tequila Alquimia are two of the many Ventura County-based businesses that are far more than a cut above their peers. And Totally Local VC is the organization that showcases the many reasons why Ventura County is not home to Just Another Tequila Sunrise.


Company contact information

Ventura Limoncello Company
2646 Palma Dr. Ste 160
Ventura, CA 93003
Phone: (805) 658-0881


Tequila Alquimia
Oxnard, CA
Phone: (805) 240-1577


Image credits: Denise Dewire, Ventura Limoncello Company and Tequila Alquimia

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