Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Review: Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur

Ginger, for all of its ubiquity in cooking, doesn't work its way into all too many drinks. But that might change with the introduction of Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur (quite a mouthful, really). This French liqueur has a base of eaux de vie and cognac, and is flavored with several varieties of ginger, and infused with ginseng. It's been garnering rave reviews (e.g. best in show at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits competition), and showing up as a popular ingredient in cocktails. As a fan of ginger, I had to check it out.

Domaine de Canton pours out a clear, very light olive green, apparently a natural color (though I'm not quite sure from where). The nose is powerful fresh ginger, almost like a ginger beer, but with a sweet vanilla base. Ginger is also prominent on the palate, but much less forward. The vanilla flavor is strong, and the cognac gives the liqueur a rich base. Along with the spicy ginger flavor, there's also notes of orange, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The flavors are nice, but it's rather too sweet to drink neat. It's much better on ice - the water helps cut some of the sweetness, and chilling it makes it less cloying. It's an excellent cocktail ingredient, though - their website gives lots of suggestions, and it's rapidly making its way into featured drinks at bars.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the bottle - it's styled to look like bamboo, and it's really quite striking. Just be careful of the cap - mine came unglued.

If you like ginger, then Domaine de Canton is a great addition to your bar, particularly if you plan to use it in cocktails. And if not, then...well, you probably should have stopped reading a few paragraphs ago.

Price: ~$30

Value: 16/20
Overall Quality:
17/20

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