My kingdom for a sour orange!

Posted by TraderTiki on August 7th, 2007 — Posted in Bitters, MxMo, Tasting

Alrighty, the first Mixology Monday for Trader Tiki! Hooray!MxMo18

This MxMo theme, hosted by The Intoxicated Zodiac, is ORANGE! Dear lordy, what am I in for?

Well, I figured I’d put my bout into the foray with a listing and review of all Orange items in my bar, including two types of orange fruits!

I am not the biggest orange fan. I can’t say I don’t like it, but well, perhaps the 5+oz. of various Curaçao and other liqueurs floating through my system has deranged my senses. There was a flavor in there, citric acid, that I thought I remembered well but, the flavor of everything left me a bit unsatisfied. Luckily, I procured some Citric Acid recently, so I may have to start mixing with a pinch… a tiny, tiny pinch. As well as the list below, I’m going to be attempting a drink featuring orange as the featured flavor, but so far the results have been… unsatisfying. I’m going to have to return to Grog Log and Intoxica for further study. Anyhoo, onto the booze!

The Lineup

Orange Liqueurs

The Process

Tasting was done with an initial sniff from the open bottle, poured into a shot glass, allowed to open up, tilted for a few seconds, sniffed again, and two tastes. One taste staying in the mouth, one taste straight down the gullet. Palate cleansing done by bread and water.

Curaçao

A liqueur made from the peels of the bitter Larahas orange, grown on the island of Curaçao. I’ve got three different brands, so here’s the review!

Hiram Walker Orange Curaçao: A smell of light orange oil, with a vodka like alcohol tinge. The taste was instantly sweet orange, very smooth, with the flavors strongest down the throat. A bit syrupy, very sweet.

Dekuyper Blue Curaçao: A strong liqueur alcohol smell, some orange after opening up. The taste a bit of orange mixed with rubbing alcohol. Not recommended. Also, stains the hell out of everything it touches. Smurfy fingers! Ack!

Bols Curaçao: A nice, light orange smell with an alcohol frame. The taste was very lightly sweet orange, not sickly or syrupy, with very little aftertaste. Probably my favored Curaçao for Mai Tais and other drinks. Incidentally, BOLS was the manufacturer noted for the Curaçao in the original Mai Tai! Not that I’m so easily persuaded, except that I totally am.

Triple Sec

Monarch Triple Sec: The smell is a nice orangey scent, with a bit of neutral-grain spirit burn in the nose. The taste is sweet, like an orange popsicle. Truly reminiscent of an otter pop, but with a mild burn in the throat.

Cointreau: The smell is lightly orange, with a strong, cordial alcohol kick. The taste is a well-refined alcohol and orange blend, delicately blended in, with a slight fresh orange aftertaste.

Grand Marnier: The smell is entirely alcohol, but a hint of orange mixes in after being allowed to open up. The taste is strongly alcoholic, but with a very nice orange oil flavor. The aftertaste burns a bit, but very pleasantly.

Liqueurs

Well, not that they all aren’t, but these don’t fit into the Triple Sec or Curaçao category, as far as I can tell

Sublime: smells of orange hard-candy, with a light brandy-like perfume. The taste is very sweet on the tongue, a bit harsh down. Tastes like a really good Curaçao, with a bit of alcohol burn. An orange and bubble-gum kind of aftertaste.

Marie Brizzard Parfait Amour: What a strange one this is. The smell is sweet, grapey, and has a candy flavor I have smelled before, but cannot place it. There is some alcohol to the scent after opening up, as well as some nice orange oil. It hits the tongue with a very nice, medium sweetness, and continues on for quite awhile into the aftertaste. It’s a very nice, light, slightly candy-like orange.

Bitters

Oh boy, orange bitters! It’s the bitterness in oranges I tend to blend towards in cocktails. I was very excited to try these, particularly after getting some Regan’s Orange Bitters #6, and Fee Bros. Orange, and.. well, see below!

Regan’s Orange Bitters #6: The smell is a bit of orange, and cherry, with a smoky-sweet fragrance. The liquid evaporates in the mout immediately, leaving a strong smokiness and orange pith, with a smokey aftertaste. Nice stuff, and I’m anxious to try in other cocktails.

Fee Bros. Orange Bitters: A Bitter orange pith smell, the taste is spicy, and has that consistent Fee Bros. clove spice to it. A very bitter, Campari-like aftertaste.

Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters: Sweet, Tokay-like qualities of fig and cherry. Very much blood orange juice, but with a candy-sweet pomegranate sort of personality, but without the sting of pom. Definitely something you can use a 1/4 oz. of in a drink.

Campari: Tasting this stuff just makes me want a Negroni time and time again. I’m still working towards Campari and Cola, but me and Italian Bitters have a lot to work on, particularly after trying Cynar. There is a bit of an almond, cherry and smokiness to the smell. The taste, well, bitter, with a bit of cherry, blood orange, and smokey bitterness.

Other

Orange Flower Water: Smells like perfume, tastes like perfume. Pretty much enough said. Great for bring out the florals in a drink!

Fruits

Yes, actual oranges! Crazy!

Sunkist Valencia: Bittersweet, more emphasis on the sweet, with a light citric acid sting. A bit watery.

Australian Navel Orange: Sweet, full-bodied orange flavor.

So there you have it, according to my palate. Anyone interested is of course welcome to have a swig at my home bar.

Time for Miehanas!