Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Tuesday Tasting: A Walk on the Odd Side of Spirits
Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we try some liquor that you don't find in the average home bar.
The Drinking Buddies section that I wrote for the current issue of DRAFT magazine is titled "Free Spirits: Sipping on the Edge." As the title implies, the liquors covered in the piece were not your standard vodkas, whiskeys or rums.
The article asks a simple question: What was the strangest drink you have ever downed? Was it the tourist special mezcal in Tijuana complete with the worm? Did you encounter snake wine on a Far East trip and just could not resist the dare? Or did your adventurous side emerge on that Caribbean vacation at the exact moment that a bottle of overproof rum hit the table?
Here are six unique spirits that made the Drinking Buddies tasting notes:
Cynar Liqueur: Did someone say artichokes? That’s right, this 33 proof aperitif is distilled using artichoke leaves. It is a cola color, with a slightly sweet nose. There is a brightness to the flavor. Slightly bitter and tart, finishing with a yellow grapefruit tang. You can judge for yourself if this product has any of the rumored aphrodisiac qualities.
Etter Christmas Plum Liqueur: A real treat imported from Switzerland. Amber, pink color, you get a cinnamon and apple aroma, with hints of coriander backing up a direct plum flavor profile. The finish is sweet and tart at the same time. Quite unique.
La Mestiza Licor de Nance: Produced in the Yucatan region of Mexico from the nance fruit, this liqueur is 60 proof. A cloudy amber color, it has a sweet maple syrup nose, with berries, nuts, honey and fruit flavors throughout. Kind of a liquid baklava.
Senior Liqueur: A product of the Netherland Antilles, it is a combination of rumraisin and curacao liqueurs. Yellow and 50 proof, it has a Fruit Stripe gum aroma and a candy sweet coating flavor.
John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum: What do you say about a 22 proof liqueur from Barbados that consists of white rum cut with water, lime, sugar, almond and clove? For starters it is delicious and different. The color of straw, the aroma gives away the cloves and the flavor profile is sweet and coating. Could be the perfect secret ingredient for summer cocktails.
Tuaca Liqueur: From Tuscany, this 70 proof brandy-based liqueur is inviting and sweet. Amber color, there are hints of vanilla, cherry and almonds.