Spring is coming into full, glorious bloom. Here are two new spirits that pair perfectly with the season. One's made with sweet, delicate vine blossoms, the other with luscious, fresh stone fruit.
Averell Damson Gin Liqueur
Price: $37/750 ml
The Story: The maker of NYC-based DH Krahn gin just launched this deep red, gin-based, damson plum-flavored liqueur last fall. Made with the sweetened juice of tart plums sourced from the Finger Lakes region, it's an American take on an old English tradition.
Tasting Notes: Tart, tangy, with a little bit of gin-y juniper zip thrown in. Sweet, juicy, summery stone fruit taste. Weighing in at 33% alcohol by volume, its balanced booziness doesn't overpower its delicately nuanced flavors.
How to Enjoy: Mouth-wateringly good when sipped straight over ice. Add some club soda for a tall, refreshing cooler. Intriguing cocktail uses include the Damson Dove (Averell, lemon, simple syrup, egg white) and The Red Cat (Averell, bitter lemon soda, and club soda).
Availability: Currently has distribution in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Georgia, and District of Columbia. Also available for order online.
Esprit de June
Price: $30/750 ml
The Story: We mentioned Esprit de June in a roundup last summer when the liqueur first started to make an appearance in select markets, and now that it's reached nationwide distribution, we thought it was well worth mentioning again. Made in the Cognac region of France from the springtime blossoms of grape vines, this sunny liqueur is produced by the same French distillery as G'vine, using many of the same wine-making principles. The result is a delicate cordial with flavors of flower and fruit. A minimum of sugar is added to the distillate, keeping things light and bright. Fans of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, this one's for you!
How to Enjoy: Deliciously refreshing sipped on its own or with club soda - or better yet, with club soda, a dash of simple syrup, and a squeeze of lemon. Other recipes include variations on the Cape Cod (vodka, June, cranberry) and, intriguingly, the Gin and Tonic (gin, June, tonic water).
Tasting Notes: Delicate and floral without being too cloying or sweet. Light herbaceous notes. At 28% alcohol by volume, it makes a nice choice for an aperitif.
Have you tried Averell or June liqueur? Any other fresh, new discoveries this spring?
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturers did give us product for testing and review purposes.
Nora Maynard is a longtime home mixologist and an occasional instructor at NYC's Astor Center. She is a contributor to The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food and Drink Industries and is the recipient of the American Egg Board Fellowship in culinary writing at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow. She previously covered food and drink in film at The Kitchn in her weekly column, The Celluloid Pantry.
Related: Spotlight on Gin: Some New Favorites
(Images: spirit producers; Nora Maynard)