Craft Kitchen posts from Azu Restaurant and Tapas Bar - Ojai, California


"When life gives you lemons you must make lemonade,” so when Ojai gave us Pixie's; we had to make Ojaicello. Limoncello was created long before Azu was built, but its timeless recipe has been used for centuries.

“We wanted to keep the classic elements of the Limoncello but put our own fresh and organic Ojai twist on this classic concoction.”

The Etchart Ranch is a organic haven for fresh citrus and avocados is located on Maricopa Hwy. and is owned by brothers Mike and Mark Etchart. The brothers acquired the property from their grandpa who purchased this amazing orchard in 1942.  

The Organic orchard is filled with a variety of fresh citrus including; pixie tangerines, ruby red grapefruit, cara cara oranges, tangelo, satsuma tangerines, lemons, golden nugget tangerine, kishu tangerine, bacon and hass avocados. Elizabeth took some fresh fruit from the farm back to Richard at the bar, and he started the creative process. The first two blends that he created are a seasonal choice that gave the Ojaicello a unique flavor. The blend of lemon, grapefruit, and pixie tangerines were soon followed by a similar blend with the infusion of lavender simple syrup fresh from the herb garden on the Etchart Organic Ranch.


With Pixie season in full swing Azu is making as much pixie cello as they can for their signature Drink The Pixie Gin Fizz.

The OjaiCello Process

Step 1: Zest the Organic goodness off of the farm fresh produce

Step 2: Let the Zest infuse for 6 weeks in a cool dark place

Step 3: After 6 weeks, add simple syrup, let the mixture infuse for

Step 4: After 8 weeks, Strain out the zest, then filter through coffee filter. Dilute to taste with distilled water and add a little more syrup to taste.

This process is simple, but ever-changing and is always a learning experience. Elizabeth and Richard are still trying to perfect the recipe and with the fresh organic blends they can come up with there is always room for new flavors.

Pixie Month

April is Pixie Month in Ojai and at Azu we celebrating the season with a number of Pixie specials. On our Cocktail menu we have our Pixie Fizz. We are using gin, lemon juice, House-made PixieCello and Spanish Cava served up. We are also featuring our Gin and Juice Cocktail, fresh pixie juice, grapefruit juice and Ventura Spirits Wilder Gin. Really simple, but with the fresh organic juice coming off the Etchart Orchard, it really doesn't get any better.

On the Dessert menu we are serving a Cardamon angel food cake trifle with pixie curd and seasonal berry compote.

In the first week of April we celebrated with our annual Pixie Dinner for The Ojai Visitors Bureau. Chef Damien Halderman designed a pixie and local citrus tasting menu paired with the local wine's from The Ojai Alisal.