It's made with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans roasted by Jewel Box Coffee in Oakland and ground in the distillery's grain mill. Chicory and Madagascar vanilla add a sweet and earthy flavor to the mellow, smooth liqueur, bringing it right in line, flavor-wise, with the Blue Bottle potion.
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If you are interested in building a taste for the bitter drinks that are showing up in bars these days, my advice is to start slowly. Here are my recommendations, step by step.
Wading through saccharine, artificial-tasting bottles in search of that unicorn—a truly delicious liqueur—is most often unrewarding and gag-inducing. But today, I'm here to tell you that magical creatures do exist, if you only look hard enough. Two of the most exceptional examples I've found are the new honey liqueurs from Bärenjäger.
We sat down with Tim Master, director of specialty spirits for the U.S. distributor, Frederick Wildman and Sons, to find out what the monks would say about the spirit and more specifically, why so many people are drinking it today.
When you start looking through vintage cocktail books, one thing you'll quickly notice are the names of obscure ingredients. Now, some of these ingredients are still in production—you might have to hunt a while; you might even need to have a friend bring a bottle home from overseas. But others are truly defunct, no longer made. What did they taste like? How were they made? Here's our guide to a few bitters, liqueurs, and cordials that truly have disappeared...and a few that are being revived by upstart brands.
There's just something cozy about pumpkin and spice, and once autumn's arrived, I want to cram pumpkin into everything I eat and drink. Getting pumpkin into a cocktail can be a little messy and goopy, so I like to whip up a batch of pumpkin liqueur to ensure that I can conveniently drink pumpkin pie cocktails for months to come. This recipe doesn't take long, so you can even finish it in time for that Halloween party you're having.
Making your own honey liqueur is dead simple. You don't have to do anything but heat the honey with some water and then mix it with vodka. I like to let the liqueur sit overnight to ensure the flavors are totally integrated, but if you're truly impatient you can use it right away. As much as I love Bärenjäger, when I compared it side-by-side I liked the homemade stuff just as much and it was a hell of a lot cheaper.
Love of Nutella is one of the things that connects us as a species. And while chocolate is fantastic, it's the humble hazelnut that elevates Nutella from delicious to life-changing. That's why I'm surprised that hazelnut liqueur (also called noisette) flies a bit under the radar compared to its nutty cousin amaretto.
Raspberry liqueur isn't hard to find, but the bottles you can buy are all over the map. Some options are candy sweet, while others are cough syrup-strong. Making your own liqueur gives you control over how sweet and boozy the end result is—you're likely to end up with something that better suits your sugar tolerance.
I am obsessed with Champagne cocktails. So when I hit upon a DIY ingredient that pairs well with sparkling wine, it's time for me to buy bubbly by the case. One Thanksgiving, I happened upon a delicious fizzy cocktail made with sparkling wine, fresh pear syrup, and gin, which launched a new sub-obsession—finding ways to combine pears and Champagne.
Coffee and alcohol are two of the best beverages on the planet, so combining them is just common sense. But I didn't really understand the true genius of coffee liqueur until I went to Hawaii and noticed it in unexpected places—in old school fruity umbrella drinks like the Bahama Mama and new Tiki creations made with coconut, falernum and lime, on top of a tropical fruit salad, and even shaken up with cinnamon, chiles, and cream. I had been pigeonholing coffee liqueur as just a part of a White Russian, only to find out that its potent flavor actually blends well with a variety of ingredients.
Ginger liqueur offers an exciting bend of sweet and spicy flavors. It can turn a basic drink into an intricately layered cocktail experience. Sure, you can use ginger liqueur all year (it's great with sparkling wine, especially when muddled with peaches in the summer) but this potion especially calls to us in winter, when it's just the thing to spice up our drinks. You can buy Domaine de Canton at most liquor stores—but what about making your own instead?