Le Carre and Xante
Recently I’d received a bottle of Xanté from a PR firm, and while it wasn’t in quite the seductive packaging that my fellow writer Jeffrey received his in, I found it worthy of mentioning, which brings me to the keyboard this evening.
A luscious copper hue, I opened the bottle expecting to find a sample of the usual run-of-the-mill liqueurs that habitually grace my door unannounced. While the bottle was beautiful, and the literature described the product as an exhilarating liqueur combining the sweetness of virgin pears and soft scent of vanilla with a touch of the finest French Cognac, it has been my experience that most liqueurs that surprise me at my doorstep are there because no one else will have them and as such I have long ago stopped bringing in those strays (thank you Pumpkin Spice liqueur for eating my books, defiling my floor and then breaking out through the screen door before I even knew what hit me).
Despite my better judgment, and perhaps because of the fine packaging, I decided to go beyond the usual cursory glance and sniff and decided to give this product a taste. Starting with aroma, Xanté’s nose is one that screams ripe pear just plucked off the tree. Behind this, one gets slight vanilla and caramel spice. The palate echoes that, with the Xmas spice being a touch more pronounced. While this is a liqueur, it’s not overly sweet and possesses good body, backed by the cognac at a healthy 38% alcohol. It immediately made me think of fall, and of course cocktails.
My first experiment went as such, and it was a keeper:
1 ½ oz Ron Zacapa 23yr rum
½ oz Xanté Pear
½ oz Dubonnet
¼ oz Angostura bitters
place all but lemon in a mixing glass
stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
garnish with a lemon twist
The Xanté shows through brilliantly, tempered by the spice and bitterness of the Angostura. The lemon twist, while just garnish, is necessary in brightening up the whole concoction with its essential oils. This one is a keeper, and has me excited about experimenting more with this product, and at a $40 SRP (it can be found for much cheaper), it wouldn’t make a bad Xmas gift for that cocktailian on your list either.
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