Go back in time to the downright dirty history of the American speakeasy and you’ll find Angostura Orange bitters in a huge number of different drinks. Rising to prominence during prohibition many classic cocktails simplyaren’t complete without a shot of Angostura Orange. A classic example of bitters, one of the few that survived US Prohibition, flavours of orange and geranium are most prominent followed by spicy cardamom and coriander. Shake into your Martini, your Manhattan or even a classic Champagne cocktail.
With its history in apothecary Peychaud’s Bitters has a strong authentic flavour which was originally dispensed as a medicinal tonic. Of course, the signature cocktail with Peychaud’s is the Sazerac but the subtle yet spicy flavour makes it a great choice for a wide range of cocktails from Old Fashioned to Whiskey Sours and the overriding flavour in each sip is aromatic cloves. Known as a great all-rounder Peychaud’s can be mixed with virtually anything to create a complex flavour profile.
One of Brazil’s favourite Cachaça, Velho Barreiro is delicate on the nose but powerful earthy tones come through when you sip. Ripe marrow and fresh orchard fruit aromas are all present in the nose but when enjoyed neatthe flavour is crisp and clean, with a rounded flavour profile which once again allows the sweet vegetal notes to shine. This also applies when you add it to your favourite exotic cocktail, unsurprisingly a perfect partner for the other essential ingredients in a Caipirinha.
Suntory are the gods of the Japanese whisky scene and their Hakushu line is amongst the most popular. The Hakushi distillery is hidden in the forests near the Japanese Alps and this particular offering is aged for 12 years. An exceptional single malt, Hakushu 12 year is a light and refreshing offering with hay and mixed peels on the nose and gentle barley malt, smokiness and hazelnut coming through in the taste. Sweetness is perfectly balanced against spice.
Maraschino Luxardo is a classic Italian liqueur and is presented in its traditional way, straw covered bottle and all. The clear hues hide a flavour which is simply bursting with marasca cherries and a typically pungent aroma in which the cherries seem to invite you to take that first sip. Smooth on the palate initially, leading into a sharpness which is short lived but satisfying. It’s the aroma of this one which will have you back for another sip, lingering long after tasting.