Not all liqueurs are created equal!


I’ve written before about the fact that I believe that cocktail recipes are just a guideline that helps you create a tasty drink, but that depending on the exact products you are using, they will most likely need to be adjusted to find the right balance. When it comes to this premise, liqueurs stand out as being one of the most variable of all cocktail ingredients. This is partly down to the rules governing how liqueurs are made but is also strongly influenced by the production methods used to make them.


As a cocktail ingredient, liqueurs add three things to a drink: sweetness, alcohol and flavour and as such need to be given special consideration. Getting the balance right is an art form so to simply say that a drink calls for 15ml of crème de peche or poire is sometimes too basic. Some are sweeter than others; one may have a greater intensity of ripe fruit flavour, whereas another may be sharper with an almost citrus edge. To use liqueurs well you have to have tasted them and have an understanding of their unique attributes.


The good, the bad and the ugly bottle!

I’m lucky enough to be sent bottles of spirits on a reasonably regular basis, so hearing a knock on the door, and seeing a bottle sized parcel in the delivery guys hand leads to great anticipation. Will it be a new product, or an old favourite? Something to delight my taste buds or make me scratch my head and wonder what the producer was thinking when they made this pineapple infused pisco liqueur? Opening the box to reveal the latest addition to the b&t drinks cabinet there is a moment of examination as I look at yet another gleaming gem of a bottle… or not.
Often the bottle I’m faced with is great, but every now and then I’m left dumbfounded by a poorly designed, cheap looking bottle, and despite knowing that the liquid in the bottle is the most important thing, I’m left feeling disappointed. Recently I have received a lot of new products and have had an instant reaction to the packaging that has set me up for the experience of tasting the liquid inside. Most have been examples of the good, but a few have been bad, and one or two have even been downright ugly!

Alchemists, Princes and Master Blenders

The last few weeks have been pretty full on for b&t and there have been some chances for me to try new products such as the 2010 release of Bushmills 21 year old, as well as to reacquaint myself with some old favourites like Benedictine and Drambuie. So now seems like a good time to talk about what we’ve been drinking!
I have a feeling that we’ll have to do a similar thing with ‘where we’ve been drinking’ too, as there seem to be quite a few new bars popping up at the moment, but I’ll save that for another day. For now here are a few of our favourite spirits from the last month.