Tag Archives: digestif liqueur

New Sukkah Hill liqueurs come to Chicago

Sukkah Hill liqueurs fabulous for holidays and special occasions
Sukkah Hill liqueurs fabulous for holidays and special occasions

Liqueurs are traditionally thought of as après dinner, but these two I recently received to sample look to be comfortable just about any other time as well. Strangely named—one is Besamim and the other is Etrog—these are hand crafted with meticulous care in small batches using locally sourced  ingredients as much as possible—including from the maker’s own orchard.

The tastes are distinctive for sure. Besamim (74 proof) is described by the Beverage Tasting Institute as “Vibrant aromas and flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove with a silky, moderately sweet, medium body and a gently warming frosted carrot cake and candied spiced nut finish. Elegant, natural and balanced spice flavor that is great on its own and in holiday cocktails.” I can’t improve on that. To put it simply in my words, it tastes like Christmas in a glass. Think of mixing or serving with creamy or apple-y or pumpkin-y things. The flavor is intense but beautifully balanced. My mouth is watering at the thought of a glass of this with a piece of pumpkin pie.

Etrog (76 proof) is a more mysterious combination of flavors that inventor, Marni Witkin first created by adding leftover holiday etrog – the yellow citron, a fruit traditionally used by Jewish people during the week-long holiday of Sukkot—into some vodka to see what would happen. As it happened, she passed the drink around to her friends, and they all liked it—a lot. She and her husband planted an orchard and now grow these unique fruits.

English: Etrog, silver etrog box and lulav, us...
English: Etrog, silver etrog box and lulav, used on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The finished commercial Etrog product likely tastes more complex than that first accidentally infused spirit. On its own, the liqueur has a tiny bit of a medicinal taste that’s similar to an amaro, the popular Italian digestif, but Etrog is somewhat lighter and lemon-based rather than evocative of dark roots and herbs. Mixed in cocktails, Etrog layers in a unique citrus-y subtlety that works well with a variety of liquors and other mixers. From gin (the Etrog Ricky recipe is super refreshing and a bit more complex than the traditional simple gin rickey) to bourbon, this liqueur is a star when it comes to building a cocktail with layers of flavor. Read here for more recipes.

Now available at your local Binny’s for $24.99 for a 375ml bottle. More locations on the way as these unique new cordial/liqueurs make their way into outlets across the country.

Soothe your digestion with this aromatic Italian liqueur

Vecchio Amaro del Capo - Italia
Vecchio Amaro del Capo – Italia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vecchio Amaro del Capo has been around a long time. It’s a classic Italian liqueur infused with medicinal herbs, aromatic fruits and roots from the Southern Italian region of Calabria, distilled by Gruppo Caffo. I didn’t have room to store it in my freezer – it’s traditionally served ice cold to emphasize its aromatic flavor – so I drink it straight-from-the-refrigerator-cold. It has a unique roots-y, herb-y flavor and hits the spot drunk neat after a big meal. I also like it as a nightcap.

With the tonic properties of its ingredients – 29 herbs and fruits like orange, licorice, tangerine, chamomile, and more – Vecchio Amaro del Capo makes a great digestif – sip it after a long or hearty meal. If your holiday season is crowded with multiple parties, receptions and events, this is a great time to let its soothing properties help you enjoy each meal, stay healthy and be ready for the next party. Vecchio Amaro del Capo could be just the ticket for staying in good shape despite indulging. What more could one ask of a liqueur?

And just for fun, here are a couple of easy international drink recipes to make with it:

Caffoni from London, UK

  • 1 oz Vecchio Amaro del Capo
  • 1 oz red vermouth
  • 1 oz gin

Directions: Shake all the ingredients with ice and serve in an “old fashioned” glass. Decorate with a twist of pink grapefruit peel.

Capo Tonic from Brasilia, Brazil

  • .75 oz Vecchio Amaro del Capo
  • 3 oz Tonic
  • A generous splash of fresh lime juice

Directions: Mix and serve in a highball glass. Decorate with slices of lime and orange.

White del Capo Russian from Moscow, Russia

  • 25 oz Amaro del Capo
  • .75 oz Vodka
  • .75 oz Ccoffee liqueur
  • 3 oz half-and-half
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Orange Peel

Directions: Shake with ice Amaro del Capo, Vodka, Coffee liqueur and pour it in a tumbler glass with ice. Shake half-and-half with ice and pour it on top of the mixture in the glass without mixing. Insert cinnamon stick, dust with cinnamon and decorate with orange peel.