Mixology Monday XL: Ginger

Posted by John The Bastard on June 12, 2009

mxmoThe ever-dastardly, pugnacious, and all-around awesome guy, Rumdood, is hosting this month’s Mixology Monday theme: Ginger. This is conveniently timed for my first MxMo post, as I just recently acquired my first bottle of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, which, despite the glorious praises heaped upon it by booze pundits everywhere, is somewhat hard to find in Oregon.

CrustaceanGiven the aforementioned glut of verbiage about this particular spirit, I’ll limit my thoughts on the matter to a few words: its good, not amazing. It tastes pretty much like you would expect a ginger liqueur to taste. However, one stroke of brilliance that I believe abetted Canton’s rise to bibulous stardom is that it closely matches the level of sweetness in the ubiquitous Cointreau (as opposed to the much sweeter Grand Marnier). Consequently, you can substitute the Canton for Cointreau in any of your favorite cocktails and have a variation on an old favorite without having to worry about balancing the drink. With that in mind, for this MxMo, I’ll revisit a few of my standards using the ginger liqueur. Despite its GNS base and an absurd price tag, Cointreau has maintained a dominance in the the orange liqueur realm because its competitors, excellent though they may be, simply don’t have the same versatility. I hope to see whether the Canton fairs as well.

Brandy Crustacean

 oz brandy (Hardy Cognac Napoleon)
¼  oz Domaine de Canton
¼  oz maraschino (Luxardo)
¼  oz lemon juice
1  dash Angostura bitters

Shake and strain.

Where is the ginger? I have no idea, but the orange found in the Brandy Crusta is definitely missed. Sadly, this one doesn’t hold a candle to the original.

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Margaret & Rita

½  oz blanco tequila (Inocente)
1  oz Domaine de Canton
½  oz lime juice

Shake and strain.

Here we revisit my favorite margarita from the recent Cinco de Mayo post. The Canton’s ginger-heat pokes through, though the vanilla and honey notes are lost in the lime’s sourness. Thankfully, all of the lovely effects from the Inocente remain. Quite good, but no substitute for the original. Three and a half fingers up.

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Reviver 2β

Corpse Reviver v2.1β

1  oz gin (Citadelle)
1  oz Lillet Blanc
1  oz Domaine de Canton
1  oz lemon juice
1  dash absinthe (Kübler)

Shake and strain.

The hallmark of the Corpse Reviver #2 is that each of the ingredients can be picked out, in sequence, as the drink washes over your palette. First the sweet orange liqueur, then the sour from the lemon, the slight bitterness of the Lillet’s quanine, and finally a flourish of anise and gin botanicals that you smell more than you taste. Here, we get a hint of vanilla instead of orange on the front palette and can add the aroma of ginger to the overall bouquet. I don’t prefer this to the original, but its definitely a nice variant.

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Overall, Domaine de Canton is a nice liqueur to have on hand, though its a bit more delicate than I would like. Despite its brandy base, it seems to stand up a little better in cleaner, lighter spirits like gin and the triple-distilled Inocente than it does the fussier cognac you find in the brandy crusta. I'm satisfied with the purchase but leave it to the reader to decide whether the product lives up to its hype.