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If you're into more traditional/authentic liqueurs, on a recent trip to London I sampled two exceptional products from the 400+ yr old house of Berry Bros. & Rudd. Neither are available for sale in the USA. They appear to have a deep loyal customer base in the UK and have long sold as a house specialty for the old private clubs.

One is the Scottish Highland Liqueur a recipe to capture the tastes fruits of Scotland with a malt Whisky base and a combination of honey, cranberry and raspberry. Mildly sweet, and does amazingly well at capturing the smoke and peat notes of better malt whiskeys.

The Kings Ginger Liqueur - (and I copy the story from the label here) "This unique liqueur became famous in the reign of King Edward VII when, at the request of the King's doctor, it was produced as a warming drink for His Majesty to take his morning rides in his new horseless carriage." It has a smooth ginger flavour with a clean dry finish.

Have any of you tried these?


Edited by Friend of the Farmer (log)

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petite liqueur. <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114383761665913809.html?mod=2_1174_1">read about it this afternoon</a>.<blockquote>Moët & Chandon pulled the plug on the liqueur sometime in the early 1990s and has no plans to revive it.</blockquote>i always feel as though i find about anything fun 10 years too late.

anyway<blockquote>Jeffrey Pogash of Moët Hennessey says that Petite Liqueur was created for die-hard champagne lovers who "enjoyed the taste of well-aged, slightly maderized champagne."</blockquote>and<blockquote>Moët won't divulge its Petite Liqueur recipe other than to say that it involved adding cognac to sparkling wine.</blockquote>sounds wonderful.


"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

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I've been trying to find Marie Brizard Apry lately, and have been told by a liquor store that it has been discontinued.  The liquor store manager tried to order some and told me his salesperson informed him he's not sure if it is just unavailable temporarily or if they are no longer making it.

Luxardo and Massenet both list Apricot liqueurs on their websites; but, apparently neither of those companies sell those products in the US.

Anyone have insight or recommendations for a substitute?

Please tell me this isn't some weird FDA thing...

I've been having trouble with the Marie Brizzard Apry also. Most liquor stores up here (Boston area) have tons of it in stock though, I just can't order it. I am told as well that luxardo marachino has been discontinued by importers, but Atlantic wine and spirits (again, Boston) has in the past directly imported it. The problem is that they are soooo small almost no liquor stores, nevermind restaurants, use them. So luxardo remains unattainable. Hope that helps.

Luxard English Site

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I've been having trouble with the Marie Brizzard Apry also.  Most liquor stores up here (Boston area) have tons of it in stock though, I just can't order it.

I've not found much apricot anything other than the DeKuyper, Bols, and Potter apricot flavored brandy products at the larger liquor stores. It's interesting that most of the smaller liquor stores don't even stock those. I guess apricot is just not the flavor of the moment, as evinced by this article about CA apricot orchards being plowed under for grapes and almonds:

Apricots fall from favor

I did find a single dusty old bottle of Vedrenne Liqueur de Abricot on the back of a shelf at a hole in the wall liquor store near work, so that does me for now.

PS. I looked for apry when I was in Boston and Providence recently and didn't see it at any of the liquor stores I stopped at. Gasparro's in Providence was awesome for booze/Italian Wine and Charles Street Spirits in Boston had one of the coolest collections of beer I've seen in my life. It is probably good that neither of these stores is in SF.


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Just received an old tax strip 4/5 quart bottle of Schladerer Blackforest Apricot Liqueur as a gift while I'm visiting here in Los Angeles. The little old liquor marts in this part of the country are a gold mine of old forgotten bottles. The same store that provided this Schladerer also had a bottle of Noyau de Poissy that I had picked up earlier.

I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on whether the older tax strip bottles of sloe gin are any better than the current offerings? I notice that the old bottles of Du Bouchett sloe gin indicate that it is produced with imported sloe berries. I don't know if the newer bottles carry this label or if it is anything more than a marketing play.

Anyone have any info? Is older better?

Thanks.

-Mike

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Lakka, a Finnish cloudberry liqueur, was mentioned up-string.  I'd like to get a bottle as a birthday present for my Scandanavian wife, but it doesn't seem to be imported into the U.S.

U.S. sources, anyone?

I checked with the maker, who replied:

Unfortunately we don’t have distribution to United States or to Canada.

However, there is one web-shop in Austria, which sells our liqueurs. They have both, Arctic Bramble and Cloudberry liqueurs in their selection. Their internet-address is: www.finnshop.at. I’m quite sure that they can assistant you with this question.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to take a contact.

Best regards,

Lignell & Piispanen

Harri Nylund

Export Manager

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Just received a newsletter from the nice folks at Liqueurs de France. Not only have they started carrying a few Rhums from Martinique; but, also a Tobacco Liqueur!

A rare and unique liqueur from T. A. Breaux and Jade Liqueurs!

Perique Liqueur de Tabac: Following many months of development, Jade Liqueurs finally releases its much anticipated tobacco liqueur, Perique! Distilled from Louisiana Perique, the rarest and most precious tobacco in the entire world. The unique terroir of the Mississippi River gives Perique the intense spices and aromas that contribute to the delicate balance of this fine liqueur. Perique is entirely artisanal in its construction, and captures the nuances of this ancient tobacco. Due to the difficulty in procuring this rare tobacco, Perique liqueur is available only in limited quantity.  Order early to avoid disappointment!

Not sure if that seems appealing or not. Certainly unusual.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I've been having trouble with the Marie Brizzard Apry also.

Kappy's in Peabody, on 114 near the malls, has the Apry. I was just there Saturday night and saw it.

I'll second the find. I was just up there a few weeks ago and snatched up a couple of bottles. I hope the continue to stock it. Has anyone heard if they are continuing production of Apry and their Orange Curacao?


Rick

Pennsylvania

Kaiser Penguin

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Ted Breaux's responsible for it...apparently it's been in the works for several years.

I just ordered a bottle.

now if only I could find Creme de Violette online....(Sally Clarke's doesn't sell it online and a Scotch site that I was directed to doesn't apparently anymore either)

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now if only I could find Creme de Violette online....(Sally Clarke's doesn't sell it online and a Scotch site that I was directed to doesn't apparently anymore either)

Monin makes a very strong violet syrup that does that job. You could dilute some with vodka to get a creme de violet sort of thing... or you could just use a dropper and add all the violet character you want to your cocktail with a few drops. I've got one bottle that will last at least a lifetime.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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I've been wondering about this for a while, and perhaps someone can shed a little light on this for me...

Since my first taste of it, I've been fascinated with Licor 43 (aka Cuarenta y Tres), which is a Spanish herbal liqueur whose primary flavor is vanilla. Now I think 43 is rather interesting because it seems to be the most popular herbal liqueur out there today (very open to debate, I may be very wrong), something I attribute to the primary flavor being a familiar flavor to most people, unlike something like Benedictine or Chartreuse. Personally I love both of these, but I think most people find the flavor a little medicinal, especially since in my experience people tend to try a lot of things straight that should really (at least to the neophyte) be employed as a mixer. But I digress. Now I'm pretty sure the question I set out to ask is this: How old is this stuff? The recipes and history for Chartreuse and Benedictine date back centuries. Is 43 something similar or is it something that was pulled out in the 80s or 90s? The website is pretty vague on the history which makes me suspicious. Either way, I love the stuff, just kind of curious.

If you have some and don't know what to do with it, try it in Robert Hess' Bloomsbury or Jeff Berry's Beachbum's Own. Both wonderful drinks which showcase the flavor nicely (if a bit on the sweet side).

-Andy


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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There is some kind of bullshitty faux history about Licor 43 going back to Roman times, but I've seen no evidence that the actual liqueur has been produced for all that long.


--

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I'm also not sure of 43's history, but the first time I tried it was in Spain in 1977.

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Last night we had a chance to try the Pear Liqueur from J Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg, CA. It is outstanding. Aged ten years in oak, it is sweet without being cloying or syrupy. Vanilla and caramel notes accompany the pear. Great both straight and in a pear sidecar. Looking forward to giving it a try as a cointreau substitute in a number of cocktails.

-Mike and Jenny


Edited by scratchline (log)

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Last night we had a chance to try the Pear Liqueur from J Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg, CA.  It is outstanding.  Aged ten years in oak, it is sweet without being cloying or syrupy.  Vanilla and caramel notes accompany the pear.  Great both straight and in a pear sidecar.  Looking forward to giving it a try as a cointreau substitute in a number of cocktails.

-Mike and Jenny

Huh, distilling and liqueurs seem to be the new trend in the wine country.

Was the base spirit distilled from their wines? Did they distill it or grow the pears?


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Last night we had a chance to try the Pear Liqueur from J Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg, CA.  It is outstanding.  Aged ten years in oak, it is sweet without being cloying or syrupy.  Vanilla and caramel notes accompany the pear.  Great both straight and in a pear sidecar.  Looking forward to giving it a try as a cointreau substitute in a number of cocktails.

-Mike and Jenny

Huh, distilling and liqueurs seem to be the new trend in the wine country.

Was the base spirit distilled from their wines? Did they distill it or grow the pears?

From the ones I have tasted, most of the wineries are using a neutral spirit that is being purchased versus distilling it themselves.

One of the stories I was investigating some time ago was the fact that several years ago, Remy Martin had an Alembic distillery in Carneros. When they shut down, a lot of the barrels of not-quite-ready alembic were sold to local wineries. Every now and then I would stumble on some amazing late-harvest Zin or fortified wine and when asked which what the fortifying spirit was, I was often told it was the left-over Remy Martin stock...

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From what I can gather here:

http://www.jwine.com/pear/

and from the back of the bottle, it's distilled from California pears. I find most liqueurs, not that I've made a study of it, pretty aggressive and sugary. This is much more rounded than Apry to me. Definitely far from it's eau-de-vie origins, but more subtle than many of its fellow liqueurs.

Sounds like the current winery kind of backed into the product. It's marked as limited. I'll probably pick up another bottle.


Edited by scratchline (log)

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From what I can gather here:

http://www.jwine.com/pear/

and from the back of the bottle, it's distilled from California pears.  I find most liqueurs, not that I've made a study of it, pretty aggressive and sugary.  This is much more rounded than Apry to me.  Definitely far from it's eau-de-vie origins, but more subtle than many of its fellow liqueurs.

Sounds like the current winery kind of backed into the product.  It's marked as limited.  I'll probably pick up another bottle.

Odd! I wonder why they didn't just release it as a pear brandy? Did they think there was more of a market for liqueur? Or just liked it better that way?

I do like their Pinot, and I think they also only sell that at the vineyard. Perhaps a trip is in order.

Since most liqueurs are made by macerating fresh fruit in alcohol, and then simply filtering and sweetening, it's certainly unusual that they took this route. Are the French Pear liqueurs (Belle de Brillet, Brizard Poire) made this way?

Seems to have more in common with Maraschino liqueur than other liqueurs.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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It's hard to tell from the website description whether or not they've actually added vanilla and caramel, though the label should have disclosures if they are in. They've clearly invested in the packaging; begs the question if this is truly a limited offering.

Erik raises an interesting point - why not offer the aged eau-de-vie on its own? Perhaps Scratchline can ask and sample the edv next time at the vineyard. Quality aged edv can be a real joy, however difficult to find.

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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.

To put Cynar in the same sentence as Limoncello is just not right. Cynar is without question the foulest of the foul libations available for sale.

Who in their right mind drinks the stuff? And for what reason? Surely not because of it's taste. :wacko:


Edited by Shanghai Eats (and Drinks...) (log)

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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.

To put Cynar in the same sentence as Limoncello is just not right. Cynar is without question the foulest of the foul libations available for sale.

Who in their right mind drinks the stuff? And for what reason? Surely not because of it's taste. :wacko:

<Raises Hand> :biggrin:


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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While visiting Death & Co this week I tried a sample of the new St Germain Elderflower Liqueur. It's very well done and should spare many of us the challenge of finding elderflower syrup. It's imported (and perhaps created) by an outfit in Philadelphia that appears to have no relation to Germain-Robin.

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Simon Difford was recently in town (San Francisco) plugging his and Robert Cooper's new liqueur, St. Germain.

Elderflower cocktails have become something of a flavor of the moment, with a cocktail featuring the ingredient winning the cocktail competition at last year's Cocktail 200 in Las Vegas and Mr. Tony Abou-Ganim featuring Elderflower Syrup as an ingredient in one of the cocktails during his appearance on Iron Chef.

Unfortunately, Elderflower Syrup can be pretty hard to come by. D'Arbo is the only (?) supplier in the US and their distribution is spotty and limited to gourmet shops and specialty grocers.

Rob Cooper, (who is (?) involved somehow at Philadelphia's Charles Jacquin et Cie,) decided to step in and produce an Elderflower liqueur.

The process is pretty fantastic. They are using only wild gathered, fresh Alpine Elderflowers and building the liqueur on an Eau de Vie base.

The resulting liqueur has the beautiful clear scent of elderflower without some of the off flavors or, well, syrup-i-ness of the D'Arbo Elderflower Syrup. I don't think St. Germain will be a completely one to one substitute in cocktails calling for the syrup; but, it is a great product all on its own. I'm really looking forward to experimenting with it in cocktails.

I believe St. Germain is currently available in New York and on the cusp of arriving in California. They are hoping for wider availability as the year progresses. It looks like it should be at retail for around $30 US per 750ml. The bottle, by the way, is also quite lovely. Appearing more like a fine perfume than a liqueur.

Now if only Mr. Cooper or Charles Jacquin et Cie could be convinced to start making Crème Yvette again, (or even better, an authentic violet liqueur)...


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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when we are in austria we try to pick up marillien liquor - apricot. in innsbruck there is a great schnapps shop in old town, by the gate - they have amazing private label stuff.

also i can't forget limonchello we had in cafe de paris in rome on via veneto...imported stuff in us does not come even close. would anybody be stopping by cafe de paris? take a note of the label!

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