Tag Archive for liqueur

Nonfiction Bragging–Bloomberg Businessweek Quote!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a bragging post. This one is courtesy of my being quoted in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article on the origins and staying power of RumChata.  You may recall that I reviewed RumChata back in 2012, and you can read that review by clicking on the picture.


What did I have to say about RumChata for Bloomberg Businessweek? It’s just a quick quote on its versatility:

The drink also simplifies home cocktail making, says Eden Laurin, managing partner of the Violet Hour, a cocktail bar in Chicago’s hip Wicker Park neighborhood. Drinks with more than three ingredients are confusing to make, Laurin says, so having one spirit with several flavors is appealing. “It cuts out a step by already having cream, spice, and rum combined in pleasant ratios,” says Rebecca Gomez Farrell, a food and drink blogger in California.

Swing by the article to learn more about this unique–and fast-selling–cream liquor.

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TOPO Piedmont Gin

TOPO Piedmont Gin
Chapel Hill, NC
ABV 46%

topo gin02

I have mentioned this gin before on this blog, when I took a tour of the distillery. But this is the first TOPO spirit I’ve had my hands on a bottle of and thanks go to Esteban, TOPO’s spirit guide, for the parting gift at my farewell from North Carolina. At that tour, I was impressed by how soft the Piedmont Gin’s notes were in comparison with other gins that I often find overwhelming. So you can bet I’m excited to give it a thorough tasting.

topo gin01

Nose: A sap-covered pine cone comes to mind, hinting of sugar with the juniper. Spices are present in modest levels; I can’t distinguish between them but I can appreciate their evening properties. Allspice pokes its head out eventually. No major alcohol heat. Citrus rounds out the smell.

I chilled the shot before sampling because I can only barely handle gin on its own – I am not a gin martini drinker. So you should recognize that its flavor profile may be dulled in this review, but hey, at least I drank it at all. Mild alcohol tingles, then spices hit my lips: clove, allspice, coriander. Those quickly take a backseat to the soft, pillowy upswell of juniper. Mild lemon mixes with that juniper until they both dissolve and the spice comes again. But it’s different now, brighter, more like celery seed. The longer I sip, the more the gin reminds me of an oatmeal cookie.


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Luxardo Maraschino Original Liqueur

Luxardo Maraschino Original Liqueur
Veneto, Italy
32% ABV
luxardo maraschino

This is a spirit of legend for me, in that I’d seen it in a million cocktail recipes before I could ever track it down. Now that it’s finally appeared at my local ABC store, I can explore it. And it’s full of shockers. Per Luxardo’s website, the spirit is distilled from the marasca cherry and aged for two years before being diluted and sweetened. When I think maraschino, I think of the dessert topping and thus (1) sweet and (2) reddish-pink. This spirit is neither.

luxardo maraschino 01

It’s clear as it can be for one. And there’s nothing sweet about the nose. The smell is a blend of cherry and almond that makes me wish it were in ice cream form, like now. I’m not talking toppings. I’m talking the main event.

Okay, the Gourmez, just drink it already! Fine, fine. So about that sweetness…it’s there, but its taste is pure sugar in undissolved, granular form. The sweetness bears no resemblance to most mixers’ almost plastic taste and its very light. Vanilla notes are strong, but it’s the spirit’s nuttiness that’s most surprising. Cherry comes across as the least of its ingredients.

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