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Orange is one of the most popular and venerable flavors for liqueurs. Early versions of the Manhattan and Old Fashioned called for dashes and drips of orange-flavored spirits, and without these liqueurs it’d be impossible to mix a proper Sidecar, Mai Tai, or Margarita. From the crisp austerity of Cointreau to the lush richness of Grand Marnier—with side trips to Gran Gala and Prunier La Lieutenance, and through a dizzying array of brands of triple secs and curacaos—there is no shortage of boozy citrus options to choose from.
Here’s one more: Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb is another addition to the shelf of orange spirits, but one that distinguishes itself in a couple of ways. While most orange-flavored liqueurs are based on neutral spirits or brandy, Creole Shrubb uses rhum agricole, a distinctive type of rum from Martinique that is made from sugar-cane juice rather than molasses, the base material for most other rums. Rhum agricole has a sharper, more peppery aroma and flavor than do molasses-based rums, and this feature gives the Creole Shrubb an unusually crisp character. Flavored with bitter orange peels and a mix of spices, the Creole Shrubb is lean and sharp, with the rich orange notes typically found in curacaos but without the over-the-top sweetness that mars many other liqueurs.
It may take some searching to track down a bottle of Creole Shrubb, but the result makes the effort worthwhile. I’ve enjoyed using it as a component in exotic rum drinks and as an extra flavor boost in a glass of Champagne, and that’s just the start.
Does anyone else have experience with the Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb? How do you take it?