People are often willing to change old habits and try new things at the start of each year, so I’d love to bring your attention to some more obscure spirits to change up your drinking routine. With the amazing variety of alcoholic beverages across the globe, most people choose to stick to the tried-and-true, but if you’re curious about what your taste buds are missing, I’ve compiled a starter list of spirits that will open your palate to some new and exciting flavors.
Chartreuse – Believed to be the “elixir of long life”, Chartreuse was discovered by French monks from the Grande Chartreuse monastery in 1605, and is made from a base of wine plus 130 herbs, plants, flowers and secret ingredients. The best way to consume it is straight up or cold on the rocks.
Umeshu – Next time you’re out enjoying your sushi, see if the bar has it in their collection. Traditional Japanese sweet and sour liqueur made from green and unripe ume fruit soaked in Sake or Shochu and Awamori. Best served on the rocks, Umeshu can be mixed with hot water to warm up on a cold winter day.
Bärenjäger – Shake up your Jäger routine with this sweet German vodka-based liqueur made from honey. Available in four different flavors: original honey, honey & bourbon, honey & tea and honey & pear, enjoy this one on the rocks, as a shot, in a cocktail, poured in tea or over vanilla ice cream.
Suze – The most popular aperitif in France, Suze is made from macerated and distilled Gentiana root and aromatic plant extracts, which lends a simultaneously spicy and fruity flavor. Enjoy it as an aperitif before dinner or mixed into cocktails.
Disaronno – If you’re a fan of almond-flavored anything, this is for you! Strangely enough, this liqueur has no almond in it, but is made from apricot kernel oil, burnt sugar and 17 different spices and herbs resulting in its sweet, almond-like flavor. This one is delicious on its own on the rocks with a twist of lemon, or in a cocktail.