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Essential liqueurs?


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I think the most common analogy is that Calvados is like an apple Cognac and applejack is like an apple whiskey. This isn't to say one can't be substituted for the other, but it may produce results that aren't quite right. A Jack Rose made with Calvados, for example, would be weird, and I would say that a Widow's Kiss made with applejack would miss the point. But, as always in matters of taste, you may feel different.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I think the most common analogy is that Calvados is like an apple Cognac and applejack is like an apple whiskey.

I'm curious what you mean by this, given whisky and Cognac are made out of different things

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Calvados is like cognac : smooth, subtle, refined, etc. (all words that might be used to describe cognac)

Applejack is like whiskey : rough around the edges, emphatically flavored, etc. (all words that might be used to describe whiskey)

In my experience, as a generality, applejack is better for mixing and calvados for sipping. Personally I find that calvados tends to get lost is cocktails, although this may also be an effect of proof (Martin Doudoroff and I did some interesting experiments comparing cocktails made with 53% abv cognac against the same cognac diluted down to the usual 40% and the difference in quality was striking).

Edited by slkinsey (log)

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I think the most common analogy is that Calvados is like an apple Cognac and applejack is like an apple whiskey.

I'm curious what you mean by this, given whisky and Cognac are made out of different things

It may have less to do with the makeup of the distillate and more to do with the aging (method and vessel)?

To me, saying Calvados and Applejack are the "same" is like saying a boxing match under the Marquess of Queensberry rules and a bare-knuckled street brawl are both "fights".

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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  • 2 weeks later...

How important is the brand name when it comes to creme de cacao? The only creme de cacao I've seen locally--even in a couple of large liquor stores--is cheap stuff from an Australian manufacturer that also produces a number of other liqueurs (advokaat, creme de cassis, triple sec, creme de menthe, etc). I'm told their advokaat is a very poor imitation of the real deal but that's advokaat. Creme de cacao, tho', is something I have no intention of drinking straight. I'll cook with it or mixologise with it. Are cheap, generic bottlings of creme de cacao (and, perhaps, creme de menthe/cassis) generally acceptable?

For Australians, the companies I'm speaking of are these guys and Baitz (I bought their maraschino liqueur--haven't tried it staight but it didn't do terrible things to my Last Word).

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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I'm speaking of are these guys ...

Wow are they trading off the logo of Cointreau!

I have found that small amounts of terrible liqueurs ruin a drink. I can't answer your Creme de Cacao question, but I'm still holding out for Marie Brizzard, which in this "flavor" is surprisingly hard to find around Boston, MA. To put that another way, I've done without for years because I haven't stumbled upon a good brand.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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I'll take your advice and skip on the cheap shit and wait until I stumble across something respectable then.

Always good advice to avoaid the cheap shit when possible! But before you do without it might be worthwhile to check with locals in the biz to see what they think if you have any connections with bar tenders or mixologists you trust in your part of Australia to see if they have an opinion on how well any of these brands do in drinks. Might be that some things are better made than others. I know, unlikely but you never know unless you ask!

Marie Brizzard Apry for example is generally favorably regarded as a mixer in cocktails by many and yet it gets trashed in Kindred Spirits 2 by Pacault. What the hell is up with that??? The MB White Cacao on the other hand gets 5 stars! Go figure...

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

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Marie Brizzard Apry for example is generally favorably regarded as a mixer in cocktails by many and yet it gets trashed in Kindred Spirits 2 by Pacault. What the hell is up with that??? The MB White Cacao on the other hand gets 5 stars! Go figure...

It could be a question of alternatives. For Apry, one can substitute the widely-available and excellent Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot. For Creme de Cacao, I'm not sure what alternatives are better than Marie Brizzard. Meletti Cioccolato, maybe? Godiva or Mozart dark chocolate liqueur? (I haven't had any of these -- anyone know if they are any good and if they are close to Creme de Cacao?)

I'm also keen to try the Mozart chocolate spirit. I would be cool if that plus simple made Creme de Cacao. That way you could use it in cocktails and control the sweetness independently. I've yet to find it in the Boston area.

Edited by EvergreenDan (log)

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Godiva is rather unlike the commonly held idea of what creme de cacao is.

I'd say in general cacao is mostly dispensable (yes, I know, 20th Century) for the manufacture of what I'll call "good" cocktails. Unless you like pousse caffes, you won't miss a great variety of drinks by waiting til a quality example comes within reach. The 20th Century and Floridita (and their spawn) are justifiably highly regarded, but I think in the long term you'll find yourself reaching for the Cacao only slightly more frequently than, say, Kummel.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Marie Brizzard Apry for example is generally favorably regarded as a mixer in cocktails by many and yet it gets trashed in Kindred Spirits 2 by Pacault. What the hell is up with that??? The MB White Cacao on the other hand gets 5 stars! Go figure...

It could be a question of alternatives. For Apry, one can substitute the widely-available and excellent Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot. For Creme de Cacao, I'm not sure what alternatives are better than Marie Brizzard. Meletti Cioccolato, maybe? Godiva or Mozart dark chocolate liqueur? (I haven't had any of these -- anyone know if they are any good and if they are close to Creme de Cacao?)

I'm also keen to try the Mozart chocolate spirit. I would be cool if that plus simple made Creme de Cacao. That way you could use it in cocktails and control the sweetness independently. I've yet to find it in the Boston area.

The Mozart Black is fantastic, a really solid chocolate hit without any milk/creamy nonsense about it: I prefer it to any creme de cacao I've tried, and that covers a fairly broad selection. The other Mozart liqueurs I'd rank in the same category as Godiva and that sort of thing. Haven't tried the Mozart Dry (the spirit), but that's just because I haven't stumbled across it, yet.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I'm also keen to try the Mozart chocolate spirit. I would be cool if that plus simple made Creme de Cacao. That way you could use it in cocktails and control the sweetness independently. I've yet to find it in the Boston area.

I made a chocolate liquor out of a Paul Clarke article a few years back (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/09/27/FDLV19N3J7.DTL&ao=2)

1/2 liter Cruzan or other 151-proof rum

1 vanilla bean

1/8 cup cacao nibs (I used roasted cacao nibs from Taza)

Instructions: Split vanilla beans lengthwise. Combine all ingredients in a large jar or bottle and let macerate for 3 weeks, shaking the mixture daily. Strain before using.

It's been awhile since I bought a bottle of Creme de Cacao (and it was DeKeuyper or Hiram or something along those lines), but when I mixed two parts simple with one part of the unsweetened chocolate liquor it makes a nice substitute in drinks like the 20th Century. It's brown, not clear, so it will throw color slightly off. It also is a great substitute for vanilla extract in various baked goods.

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