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I have to admit, whenever I go on vacation to some tropical island, I have to buy some kind of locally made wacky liqueur.

Today, because I was bored of watching Aaron Brown and Wolf Blitzer 16 hours a day, I decided to open up two bottles I bought on my last trip to St. Maarten and do some shots.

Passoa: This is a really sweet passion fruit liqueur from the island of St. Barthelemy. I like it a lot. Rachel says it tastes like cough syrup. Maybe thats why I like it.

Afri-Koko: Chocolate and Coconut combination, brewed by license in Holland by King Opoku-ware II of Ghana. I like it, but next time I'll throw it in some coffee or perhaps in a granita. Definitely a nice alternative to Kahlua if you can find it.

My current fave is Rum Jumbie, a rum flavored liqueur from St. Maarten which comes in a not so politically correct bottle. On St. Maarten, theres a barbeque joint right next to the landing strip at the airport that bastes their ribs with this stuff -- I have to try that this summer the next time I grill up some ribs.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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My chef Dave brought back some Afri Koko on his last trip home to Ghana.Makes a good ice cream! :biggrin: Also brought back some "Takai" ,another Ghanian liqueur, which is a Cocoa and Coffee flavour. Takai comes in a very funky, curvy bottle

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Illegal Absinthe from Barcelona count? Grin. Love it, fear it, drink it cautiously.

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I had a nance flavored liqueur from Honduras once - ack!

Agevero is a tequila flavored liqueur, it's really tasty (Link)


Edited by guajolote (log)

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Xanath -

"All-natural Xanath contains vanilla made from real vanilla beans. First produced in 1949 by the Gaya Capellini, the Gaya family still grow their own vanilla beans. Xanath (pronounced "SHA-nath") is made in the very region of Veracruz, Mexico where vanilla beans were discovered by the Totonac Indians and first used as a flavoring centuries ago."

It comes in a beautiful dark brown bottle shaped like a vanilla bean. I first fell in love with it during a trip to Mexico (of course), but now my local booze purveyor orders it for me.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I went to Curacao a few years ago and for some reason ended up coming back with six different colors of the stuff. Probably because I sampled them all at the end of the distillery tour and was then easily seperated from my money.

Still have most of it.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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On the wide-open plains of Africa grows a tree uncultivated by man. Scientists call it "Sclerocarrya birrea", but is more commonly known as the Marula tree. The tree only grows in one area on the entire planet, the warm, frost-free regions of subequatorial Africa. It is from the fruit of this mystical tree that Amarula is borne.

AMARULA!


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Britt's Coffee Liqueur from my last trip to Costa Rica, Raki from Istanbul, but it is'nt a liqueur really.


anil

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I had Cynar when I was in Italy. Its an artichoke flavored aperitif. God awful. At least I thought so, but then again, I don't really like limoncello either.


Born Free, Now Expensive

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Various grappi from Italy and Croatia.

A variation on Limoncello, made from un-ripe Cedro (Citron), rather then lemons from Cinque Terra.

Cassis from Nuit-St-Georges.

Pastis from the South of France.

Whisky from Islay.

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Adam Balic:  A variation on Limoncello, made from un-ripe Cedro (Citron), rather then lemons from Cinque Terra.
Adam, Can you tell us more about this? Homemade, brand name, etc.?

Found in one shop in Monterosso. Looks like a small production, although it is sold in a (nice) tourist shop. Colour is a bright grass green. In the flavour you can detect the taste of the Cedro/Citron (think of the flavour of the preserved peel), plus the peppery taste of the bitter citrus oils (like you get in some of the better Limoncellos). The last bottle I bought is not as good as the bottles bought previously, not enough acid to cut through the sugar. Will look at brand name tonight.

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Amarula is good. I've been meaning to pick up a bottle of Cynar from the store (they carry it - of all the weird things...) and probably will sometime soon.

I'm fascinated by the number of available liqueurs but haven't tried many of them beyond the standard American repertoire. What about Fruja? I was supposed to go to a tasting for it but didn't have my driver's license and they wouldn't let me in.


Jennie

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You can have my bottle of Cynar. I know some people who say they like it, but MAN that stuff is NAS-TY. You know how when you are cutting up/trimming artichokes and you absently minded happen to lick your fingers? That's the flavor, only with sugar. :blink:

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I'd be happy to take it off your hands, but I suspect the Post Office frowns upon sending opened bottles of alcohol through the mail. :rolleyes:


Jennie

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You can have my bottle of Cynar. I know some people who say they like it, but MAN that stuff is NAS-TY. You know how when you are cutting up/trimming artichokes and you absently minded happen to lick your fingers? That's the flavor, only with sugar.  :blink:

I recently bought a bottle of Cynar because I liked the label! :blink: I didn't quite hate it, but I think a slice of lemon would improve the taste. It is oddly refreshing, but mostly odd tasting. I still like the label. :biggrin:


KathyM

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You can have my bottle of Cynar. I know some people who say they like it, but MAN that stuff is NAS-TY. You know how when you are cutting up/trimming artichokes and you absently minded happen to lick your fingers? That's the flavor, only with sugar.  :blink:

I recently bought a bottle of Cynar because I liked the label! :blink: I didn't quite hate it, but I think a slice of lemon would improve the taste. It is oddly refreshing, but mostly odd tasting. I still like the label. :biggrin:

I once stole some Cynar from a bar to prove to some people that I ws drinking with in another pub that there was a liqueur made from Artichokes. Bit bitter for my taste.

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Finally tried the Cynar with a wedge of lemon and lots of ice. Not bad!


KathyM

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I had 2 bottles my parents brought me back from Iceland.

Black Death is considered the national beverage and is mentioned in the movie Cold Fever. Its quite good, like a very mild aquavit.

The other was a lichen liquor that had a big scale of lichen floating in the bottle. The stuff pretty much tasted like a lichen -- an earthy, dirt flavor -- that took a little getting used to. But get used to it we did and two of us polished off the whole bottle one evening. The hangover the next day wasn't near as bad as the nasty taste in my mouth.

I'm not sure what you'd mix with lichen liquor but I'm sure someone has a drink to recommend.

Hal

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The other was a lichen liquor that had a big scale of lichen floating in the bottle.  The stuff pretty much tasted like a lichen -- an earthy, dirt flavor  -- that took a little getting used to.  But get used to it we did and two of us polished off the whole bottle one evening.  The hangover the next day wasn't near as bad as the nasty taste in my mouth. 

We had that for Thanksgivimg one year, my brother in law brought it back.

I can't believe you finished the whole bottle. I couldn't even finish 1 shot.

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Trillium, can you elaborate? Is there an equivalent, or did you make your own Amer Picon? I would like to get or make some.


Edited by trillium (log)

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Liqueurs aren't really my cup of tea, but prunelle de bourgogne is pretty good. For those who like that sort of thing.

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Thanks, Trillium.

At the Union Square greenmarket in NYC, we DO get a wonderful variety of produce, including a nice variety of plums. That said, we are NOT exactly in the cherry- or plum-growing region of the world. Redjacket Orchards brings terrific apricots for a few weeks in the summer and someone from upstate (name I've forgotten) brings both "sweet" and "sour" cherries. But I have never seen a plum that I thought of as a damson. Not sure whether they're grown commercially in the tri-state area; one of the things I want to check out in terms of horticultural history.... (BTW, are you in Portland? I am beginning to turn envious about the wealth of local fruits available to you....)

So I guess the first step in the recipe sort of infuses the neutral vodka with the flavor of the plums and then you get the richness of the brandy later?

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Skybluewater wrote:

Lakka, a really nasty cloudberry liqueur my brother brought back from Finland. It tastes almost like prune juice

If you've still got that bottle laying around please PM me and maybe we can work something out. I'm still upset that I shared my last bottle with other people, thus dilluting my supply.

Another beverage worth seeking out is a Danish bitter called Gammeldansk. I believe its made from a collection of about 5000 of the worlds most obscure herbs and on its own it tastes like shite, but when its drunk neat, on the side with a glass of beer it makes the beer taste even better -- its a great palette cleanser with the suds. Give it a shot.

Also I've had some good results with making homemade aquavit. There are some recipes floating around in cyberspace, but its really much more fun to just experiment.

Halland

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I brought back two bottles of spirits from Portugal - Ginja, a cherry liquor with whole cherries floating in it, and Licor Beirao, an herbal mix that must include fennel or anise, but not overwhelmingly so. They are "only" 25 or 26%. I think they taste a bit like the advertised firewater, so was surprised to see readily available US spirits are 40%?

The most interesting part of Ginja is that it is sold in a few tiny stores surrounding a plaza in Lisbon. If I understand it right, these places sell only the brand they make, though it is also available in bottle stores, groceries and at the airport. Customers walk into these tiny store/bars and get a shot in a paper cup, walk out into the plaza and join their friends for a chat and a drink, before heading off for an evening out. This in a country where "to go" is a rare concept. Espresso and fresh orange juice always served in china and glassware, no paper cups.

I missed out on arbutus liquor as well as fig.

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