Searching for the perfect homemade gift for the cocktail enthusiast? Look no further; homemade limoncello (and its close cousins orancello and limecello) makes for a bright and zesty addition to her bar cart. Watch the video to see just how easy these citrus liqueurs are to make, then print out the zesty recipe.
If you think of limoncello as a Lysol-scented, saccharine-sweet liqueur, think again. While many store-bought bottles are suspect, homemade is a whole other story.
Smooth and bright with zesty lemon notes, a bottle of limoncello makes for an excellent edible gift for cocktail lovers, particularly when paired with a bottle of sparkling wine for a limoncello-Champagne cocktail.
Granted, it takes a bit of advance planning, but aside from the wait time necessary for the lemon peels to infuse their essential oils in the liquor, it's a very low-fuss process, and it is easy to make in large batches to be divvied up in multiple gifts. Just whatever you do, tuck away a bottle for yourself as well — your cocktails will thank you . . .
Source: Flickr User cooper.b
While YumSugar was busy learning about caviar at the Fancy Foods Show, I was searching the Italian section for exciting new drinks. With its smooth, easy-drinking liquid, and clear anise-y taste, Izzi Sambuca caught my eye.
Sambuca is a popular Italian liqueur that's great for sipping on a cold afternoon. The distinctive flavor of licorice is prominent, but not overpowering. Izzi makes two kinds: premium original and Sumbuca al Caffé, a variation on theme with subtle undertones of coffee beans and a rich caramel color. Both are warming, but not too strong, full bodied yet not syrupy, and slightly sweet.
Sambuca was popular at the show and Izzi's offerings were my favorite. I definitely plan on adding a bottle to my liquor collection. How about you? Have you tried Sambuca?
Meet Bols Genever, a compelling new (old) liqueur that's like gin's smooth-sipping cousin. Created in Holland during the 16th century, Genever was the world's first gin. Its taste is different from any other gin on the market.
Although it's strong, I find it much more drinkable than gin. Genever lacks the usual botanical undertones, and when sipped alone, is like vodka with subtle hints of whiskey. It's made with barley malt, an ingredient left out of today's common gins.
Bols Genever has a very interesting history with the recipe dating back to 1820. If you went into a bar in the late 1800s and requested a cocktail with gin, it was made with Genever. Over time, its popularity faded.
Up until the recent launch by Bols, Genever was basically nonexistent in the United States. Now you can find the liqueur, which comes in a beautiful charcoal gray bottle, being mixed into cocktails in San Francisco and New York. For spirit enthusiasts, getting your hands on a bottle of Genever is a must.
Earlier this month, I was pleasantly surprised to hear about the opening of the world's first all-organic bar. So when I learned of Loft Liqueurs, the first USDA certified organic liqueur, I had to find out what all the hype was about.
Created by two best friends and San Francisco hospitality veterans to save people from "the bright neon color of your average apple martini," the limoncello-inspired spirits are at the forefront of sustainability and eco-consciousness. In addition to being made with all-natural ingredients, the kosher-certified liqueur is sweetened primarily with agave nectar. The company supports small farms and biodynamic agricultural practices when possible, and uses recycled cases, biodegradable inks, and bamboo-based paper.
At the Food Network's NYC Wine and Food Festival, besides the delicious food, there was a plethora of interesting spirits. I waded through the depths of the rums, tequilas, and everything in between, and have picked my top four pours to share with you. If you're into trying out the newest, latest liquors, I highly recommend you seek out these bottles. Cheers!
While I normally prefer a classic cocktail or a glass of good whiskey, I've been known to enjoy a girly drink (or two) in my lifetime. Recently I've become obsessed with this brilliantly pink liqueur, X-Rated ($27).
At first, the cheesy name and vibrant color made me nervous. I was afraid it was going to be overly sweet — more like cough syrup than a luscious liqueur. However, the rosy liquid is absolutely delicious! A fusion of French vodka and organic blood orange, mango, and passion fruit juices, the liqueur tastes fresh not artificial. It's sweet, but not overly so. I served a chilled shot to girlfriends before a night on the town, but it would also be a flavorful addition to specialty cocktails.
If you're hosting a bachelorette party or bridal shower, consider serving X-Rated. Your girlfriends will love the taste and the experience of sampling a new liqueur. A bottle also makes a lovely birthday gift for a fashionable 21-year-old.
Have you tried X-Rated? What did you think?
Back in January, I told you guys all about how infused liqueurs were all the rage this year. Turns out that I may have actually been on to something. I just found out about a new liqueur called Lichido. It's produced in France from aged cognac, premium vodka, lychee & guava essences, and a "touch" of white peach juice. Personally I want to get my hands on a bottle and swig it down. Has anyone out there tried it? The folks at Liquor Snob say it's worth tracking down. I think it sounds heavenly on its own, but I also found a few recipes. To check them out, read more