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:

Le Carre

1 ½ oz Ron Zacapa 23yr rum
½ oz Xanté Pear
½ oz Dubonnet
¼ oz Angostura bitters
lemon twist

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.


Le Carre

Pictures and drink by:
Jamie Boudreau
Cocktail Whisperer



~ by Jamie Boudreau on December 3, 2009.

6 Responses to “Le Carre and Xante”

  1. Hi Jamie

    a star on our menu in the UK is the pear and cardamom sidecar – originally from Olorosso in Edinborough

    5 fresh cardamom pods broken
    35ml Xante
    10ml Cointreau
    25ml lemon
    20ml simple syrup

    wonderfully aromatic and surprisingly moreish

    keep up the good work



  2. Happy New Year…
    May I just mention, that Ron Zacapa is not 23 years old!
    It is Solera 23 [which means, that they have a rum residues which are as old as 23 years] – it is apparently only 5 years old.
    Doesn’t make it worse [I really like Ron Zacapa] – though this kind of marketing practice leaves a bad aftertaste [the only bad tast of Zacapa anyway].


    Dominik MJ

  3. D MJ:
    Be that as it may (or may not) the bottle of Zacapa that I used is the Centenario 23 anos, which, unless I’m mistaken translates as 23 years, thereby making it Zacapa 23yr. The general rule for ALL rum is that they only have to name the oldest juice in the blend, not the newest.

  4. The glasses in this photo are divine! Where can I get similar?

  5. Check out thrift and antique stores

  6. Thanks J!! After spending an hour on eBay, I think I found an exact match of yours, by crystal-maker Fostoria! I love that these vintage glasses appear to be about 6 oz., small & elegant! Beautiful presentation is what a perfect cocktail deserves!

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