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Thursday
Aug162012

Liqueurs You Need

In late 2011, Tempus Fugit introduced their new Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cacao liqueurs to the world of cocktail geeks.  The hype behind them was immense.  People knew they were coming and we were getting emails everyday as to when they might hit the shelf.  Bars across the Bay Area were gearing up to buy in big, knowing that they might not get a chance to reorder later.  They eventually came into stock, people went nuts, and the products lived up to the hype.  The concentration of flavor was unparalleled.  Soft cocoa flavors in the cacao and fresh spearmint shining through with the menthe.  Not too sweet, totally balanced. 

Then something terrible happened.  There was a dispute with the master distiller.  There was a supply issue with the Venezuelan cocoa.  Distributors needed to be switched.  The products disappeared from the market as fast as they had from our shelves.  It would be eight months until they would make their triumphant return.  I just talked to John Troia and he told me the supply chain looks solid for now.  That's why we're happy to announce that Petaluma's own Tempus Fugit liqueurs are back at K&L, adding another fantastic Bay Area-distilled product to the ever-expanding selection of outstanding liqueurs.

Tempus Fugit Creme de Menthe $29.99 - Another exemplary effort from Tempus Fugit.  Nothing on the market comes close to the amazing and authentic flavors exhibited here.  Even the high end French producers settle for using mint extracts rather than fresh mint and Tempus refuses to compromise.  This has fresh spearmint and peppermint as well as a host of botanicals to provide depth.  Distilled from winter wheat to a 193 proof, then macerated with the herbs for supreme concentration.

Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao $29.99 - Known for their Absinthe, Tempus Fugit has made waves over last year releasing the exceptional (albeit controversial) Gran Classico and the lovely Tempus Fugit Liqueur de Violette. Their new Creme de Cacao is out of this world. Few things have bothered me more than the subpar Creme de Cacaos I've tasted in the past, but this stuff is awesome. Based on a 19th century recipe, the Tempus Fugit folks have gone so far as to replicate the original cacao and vanilla sources from Venezuela and Mexico respectively in order to get it just right. It is SOOO rich, basically the texture of maple syrup. The nose is pure cacao beans and vanilla.  More complexity than any chocolate flavored liqueur I've ever tasted, they've managed to capture the true depth of the Cacao bean in a way that is both satisfyingly familiar and totally unprecedented. Think of mixing these two with some cream for the best Grasshopper that anybody has had in a hundred years. Leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Try a Stinger, it might change your life.

Combier Doppelt Kummel Liqueur $36.99 - If you like cumin, then you're going to go crazy for this new liqueur from Loire Valley distiller Combier.  You really need to like cumin, however, because it's exactly what the Kummel tastes like.  Bold, intense, in-your-face cumin with a kiss of sweetness.  I can only imagine what's possible for cocktail mixing, especially with fruit drinks.

-David Driscoll