Bakon Vodka, $25-$35
Bacon makes everything better – even vodka, as the folks at Black Rock Sprits found out when they began experimenting with this infusion. Bakon Vodka is a smooth, well-rounded, potato-based spirit with the crisp, smoky savor of peppered bacon. Killer in a Bloody Mary, it also adds a novel note to sweet drinks like the Bakon Flip, a great substitute for eggnog at your next holiday shindig: In a shaker filled with ice, vigorously combine 1 egg, 1½ oz. Bakon Vodka, 1 oz. Irish cream and ½ oz. maple syrup. Strain into a flip glass and grate fresh nutmeg on top.
Domaine de Canton, $30-$40
When somebody takes the time to peel piles of fresh baby Vietnamese ginger by hand, the ensuing liqueur has got to be good. Brightened by the spicy yet subtle burst of ginger, Domaine de Canton is a blend of eau-de-vie as well as VSOP and XO Grande Champagne cognacs. These cognacs, made with Tahitian vanilla beans, Provencial honey and Tunisian ginseng, lend the drink a low sweetness. An ideal gift for amateur mixologists, Domaine has all the bite of fresh ginger without the bark.
Lucid Absinthe, $60-$70
This is the real stuff. Lucid, the first genuine absinthe to be legally available in America in over 95 years, is made with Grande Wormwood, European green anise, sweet fennel and thujone. This infamous drink is best served in the traditional French manner, by placing a sugar cube atop a flat, perforated spoon set on the glass’s rim. Drip ice cold water over the sugar and the absinthe will louche into an opalescent cloud, perfuming the room with the aroma of herbs.
When the gluttony of a holiday dinner has ceased and guests are groaning around the table, it’s time to bust out the Cynar. Made by Campari, Cynar is an artichoke-based bitter infused with 13 herbs and plants, making it a healthy shoo-in to help with post-feasting digestion. Serve this digestif on the rocks, or add it to beer for a bitter kick.
Castries Creme Peanut Rum Liqueur, $30-$40
Like a peanut butter milkshake’s better self, Castries Creme is a sweetly nutty blend of St. Lucian rum, fresh cream, Madagascan vanilla and spices. Not as sickly sweet as most cream liqueurs, Castries is a balanced blend with a natural, peanutty finish. Serve it on the rocks, or if you’re feeling adventurous, one-up the milkshake with a Peanut Butter Fizz: In a blender, blend 3 oz. milk, 1 scoop vanilla ice cream, 1½ oz. Castries Creme and 1 tbsp. peanut butter until creamy. Pour into a tall glass and top with a splash of club soda.
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Wednesday, 20 February 2013