Thursday, October 17, 2013

Liqueurs That Taste of Autumn

By Amanda Schuster

It’s taken a while, but autumn seems to have finally kicked summer to the curb. Not only does your wardrobe need seasonal layers now, so do your cocktails! Below is a roundup of liqueurs that add that extra note of autumnal flavor to keep you warm and toasty for the cool nights ahead.

Barrow’s Intense Ginger: Ginger is an essential flavor component to cool weather cocktails, one of the four horsemen of autumn/winter spices along with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. This fresh ginger liqueur made locally in Brooklyn lives up to its name, but isn’t as soapy or bitter as others on the market. Mixes well with a variety of ingredients for a range of cocktails, and you can even make your own boozy ginger beer by adding it to soda or ginger ale!

Art in the Age - Snap: In an era replete with food-based beverages, there is very little success at authenticating the actual thng they are trying to be. Art in the Age Spirits has managed to pull this off gloriously with Snap, a spirit (it doesn’t have enough sugar content to technically be labeled liqueur) reminiscent of ginger snap cookies, but without being too confectious. Its unexpected dryness allows the natural-tasting flavors of ginger, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, molasses and butterscotch, among others, to assert themselves on the palate. It’s perfect for spicing up warm-weather cocktails, and plays well with many ingredients. Another bonus, it’s organic.

Greenhook Ginsmith Beach Plum Gin Liqueur: Produced in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, this gin is inspired by sloe gin, but created by infusing their award-winning dry gin with local beach plums. This sweet-tart treat is delicious simply added to tonic or soda, but also perfect for toddys, punches and even brown spirits for a fruity twist when produce is out of season.

Jack From Brooklyn Sorel Liqueur: This Red Hook, Brooklyn breakout is quite possibly one of the most versatile spirits on the market. A hibiscus liqueur with infusions of Brazilian clove, Indonesian cassia, Nigerian ginger, Indonesian nutmeg and pure cane sugar organic and New York grain alcohol as the base spirit. The result is a balanced, spicy, berry-licious, slightly floral elixir that is a delicious stand-in for red vermouth, or anything requiring a kick of something red (yes, “red” is a flavor, you know it’s true!) It’s that item in your booze wardrobe that always fits perfectly no matter your mood - cold, hot, fizzy or dark and stirry.

Cacao Prieto “Don Esteban” Rum Liqueur: Chocolate rum liqueur. There are so many ways this could be gross - too sweet, too cloying, the cocoa flavor not authentic enough. But in this case, it all goes right. Deep, rich, true flavors of dark chocolate, which somehow don’t overpower the notes of the rum or finish too sweet. Sure, it would be perfect in dessert martinis, but would also lend a seductive splash to Manhattans, Old Fashioneds and even Negronis. Produced in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

1921 Crema de Tequila: Don’t knock it till you try it! You know you have a guilty pleasure for Irish Cream, this is way better. Cream added to high quality, 100% agave tequila with Christmas-y spices. One taste and you’ll be finding excuses to add it to drinks. Your afternoon coffee will never be the same!

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Amanda Schuster is a native New Yorker, but without much of the accent. The mobile landscape of the city has taken her on a whirlwind journey from Medieval historian, photo archivist, jewelry designer and invitation specialist to earning her sommelier certification in late 2005. After working as a retail wine and spirits buyer and freelance brand promoter, she turned to the one thing that has stayed a constant all these years – her love of writing. She has published dozens of articles on cocktails, spirits, wine and other culinary interests, and is currently working on her first novel. Her favorite cocktail is a Manhattan.

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