Tales 2012 – Curacao – The ultimate guide to the world´s favorite liqueur flavor

Who doesn´t like curacao? and who doesn`t use it? – but WHO has seen it being distilled live on stage? and been able to try it out after? – well…all the attendees of this seminar did..

“From the Bare Bellybutton Liqueur of 1500s Amsterdam to the very first orange liqueurs on Curacao, and from the Martinez to the Mai Tai to the Cosmopolitan, award-winning writer and raconteur David Wondrich spars with Amsterdam resident, researcher and presenter Philip Duff and the Cognac-based artisanal distiller Alexandre Gabriel to reveal the real history of every bar’s most important cocktail liqueur flavour – curacao.

SWOON! As Philip Duff lets you sample pre-liqueur liqueurs from 1500s Dutch recipes like the Bare Bellybutton, Kandeel and Quarter After Five! GASP! as you taste 80 and 90 year old versions of well-known orange liqueurs that have changed their flavour profiles over time!

WEEP! with joy as you get to deconstruct an authentic 1800s curacao made by Professor Wondrich himself, the closest you’ll ever come to making a cocktail like Jerry Thomas did.

Well there you have it…it was a very interesting seminar indeed and the live-distilled curacao tasted very good!

During the seminar we got to taste six different and interesting things:

1 – Dutch occasional liqueur – it was drunk at different occasions and it tasted somewhat perfumy…

2 – A la minute Curacao – was very strong, almost made my throat crumble.

3 – Vegetal infusion – tasted aromatic

4 – Toasted aged cane sugar – sweet, dark with a THICK mouthfeel, was very sweeet, deep and soothing…

5 – Standard Triple Sec – well…tasted Triple Sec..

6 – Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao – Very balanced, not too sweet and full bodied in taste.

SOME CITRUS AND CURACAO FACTS

Broken dried Laraha orange.

# Citrus medica, reticulata and pomelo are the citrus that once started it…In tropical climates citrus fruits doesn´t change color but stay green, only citrus fruits growing in temperate climates with cold winters change color.

# Citrus fruits does have so called umami and they also have medical properties.

# The first curacao was made in the Caribbean in 1802 – on the island of Curacoa – now Curacao – and was called Curacoa.

# The citrus fruit used was the Laraha orange, which when broken smells quite awesome. it wasn´t eaten by anyone else but the goats.

# Curacao started to be used in cocktails around 1862.

After we tasted these we were also served three cocktails containing Ferrand´s Dry Curacao:

BRANDY CRUSTA – Source: Julie Reiner, proprietor and beverage director at Lana Kai and Clover Club, NYC

2 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac, 0.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, 0.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice, Dash Angostura bitters

Rim a snifter with sugar. Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into the snifter filled with ice cubes. Garnish with a horse´s neck of orange peel – aka the entire peel of an orange.

THE WHITE LADY – Source: Phillp Duff

2 oz Citadelle gin, 1 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, 1 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake all ingredients with ice ansd strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

BRANDY SHRUB – Source: David Wondrich

Peels from 2 seville (bitter) oranges and 2 valencia (sweet) oranges, 1 cup (240ml) demerara sugar, 1 cup boiling water, 1 – 750 ml bottle Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac.

In a 2 quart bowl, muddle orange peels with the sugar. Let sit for 4-5 hours. Pour boiling water into a bowl and dissolve the sugar. Add the entire bottle of Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac and let sit for 2 hours.

Strain out peels and put the liquid in a bottle. Store upright in a cool place for 2 weeks until the liquid have clarified considerably and can be siphoned off from the (harmless) sediment that will have settled to the bottom of the bottle.

Last thing that happened was that curacao was distilled live on stage and after that we got to taste it too…and it was good…

 

 

 

Sugarcane bar

 

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CITADELLE

citadelle-gin1

Citadelle is quite different from other gins – smoothe, slightly sweet and complex with juniper and citrus notes. It also has a bit of a floral quality and a more mellow gin flavour with a clean finish.Its made from an original recipe dating back to 1771 created in Gt district of Dunkirk.

19 botanicals are used and they are Juniper, coriander, orange peel, cardamom, liqorice, cubeb pepper, savory, fennel, iris, cinnamon, violets, almonds, cassia bark, angelica root, grains of paradise, cumin, nutmeg, lemon rind and star anise.

Some say this gin shouldn´t be mixed but only sipped neat but i don´t agree, i think it mixes well and makes nice and fresh gin cocktails.Its smooth character lends itself very well to sipping too of course. Its triple distilled from wheat and spring water.

The gin i received is the regular Citadelle in a very beauitful blue bottle.There´s also a Citadelle Reserve which i haven`t tried yet, its the only gin that has been refined 6 months in old oak casks.Those i know who have tried it says it’s very nice.

I like Citadelle a lot, i like its smooth and mellow flavour with its citrus notes and as i happen to like light and fresh gin cocktails with a fruity flavor this gin is perfect for that so i continue on that route.

CARDAMOM G&T

cardamom-gin-and-tonic

2 oz Citadelle

0.5 oz bitter seville orange syrup

Juice of ½ fresh lime

2-3 dashes Bob´s cardamom bitters (may be subbed by a few muddled green cardamoms)

2-3 dashes Bob´s grapefruit bitters

Top with a cardamom “quick tonic”  (steep crushed green cardamom in tonic one day and night – you won`t get much flavor but its there, subtle)

Shake over ice, strain and pour into a rocks glass with large ice cubes, top with cardamom tonic. Garnish with  a lime wedge. (Or as in the picture, a cardamom leaf and liqorice stick)

The cardamom flavour in my glass was just enough, i got a very subtle flavour from the tonic which was helped with a few dashes of the cardamom bitters and together they created a pronounced cardamom aroma.

This G&T is really fresh.