Jacob Lustig, the fabulously-connected importer who brings us the jaw-dropping ArteNOM tequilas, is back with his latest Mexican acquisition - Vallet bitter liqueurs. In 1864, Henri Vallet moved to emigrated to Mexico from France and chose to stay put in his adopted homeland. By the 1880s, he had become one of Mexico City's premier distillers. Over 120 years later, the brand is still going strong and, with the new American palate for French and Italian bitters, the time was right to cross the Northern border. The Fernet Vallet is made from a maceration of aromatic plants, roots and spices including cinnamon, clove, Quassia wood, gentian root and cardamom. It doesn't have that menthol note that Fernet fans adore, but it is a fantastic expression nonetheless. The Vallet Amargo Angostura is made from Angostura bark and a maceration of cherry fruits, cloves and other roots and spices. It's the more traditional of the two, mirroring things like Nonino or Montenegro, but with that Angostura note that you get from the eponymous bitters. Both are well under $30 and should make fans of the genre very happy.
We've all been a bit disappointed by the shortage of Tempus Fugit spirits since Gran Classico took the world by storm. Supply and production issues have plagued the beloved producer, but we're happy to report that the Liqueur De Violette is back in stock for the time being. Still no word on the Cassis or Menthe, but the Gran Classico should reappear in late August. I have no idea if this is a temporary fix or if they plan to keep this around for awhile, so if you know you like this stuff it would be good to buy in early.