Drink This: 7 Exotic Libations
By Victoria Abbot Riccardi
The royal apothecary for Scottish Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charles) concocted the recipe for this medicinal tonic in 1745, which the Prince gave to a fellow Scotsman to commercially reproduce as thanks for saving his life in battle. Made from malt Scotch whiskey, heather honey and various herbs and spices, including saffron and cloves, this toasty, sweet liqueur combines nicely with soda and lime.
A recent creation from the makers of the fortified wine blends Martini Bianco and Rosso, this juicy, rose-colored vermouth contains Mediterranean fruits such as pomegranates and raspberries, blended with various herbs. Tasty sipped over ice, it also combines beautifully with Prosecco and crushed fresh raspberries.
The addition of artichoke to a mix of 13 herbs and plants is what makes this dark brown Italian digestive so unusual. Syrupy sweet and bitter at the same time, with no discernible artichoke flavor, this after-dinner drink came to the market in 1952, when it became a popular mixer with beer in France. We like it with bourbon, lemon, crushed ice and mint.
In 1510 in Normandy, France, the Benedictine monk Dom Bernardo Vincelli created this secret elixir made from 27 different plants, herbs and spices. With a honeyed sweetness shot with citrus and spices, the amber liqueur tastes fabulous on the rocks with a squeeze of lemon.
Domaine de Canton
Handmade in small batches in Jarnac, France (near Cognac), this sweet, pale yellow ginger liqueur is made from fresh baby Vietnamese ginger, eau-de-vie, VSOP and XO Grande Champagne cognacs, fresh Tahitian vanilla beans, Provençal honey, Tunisian ginseng and a medley of herbs and other spices. For a festive refresher, shake it over ice with vodka, crushed basil, lemon juice and simple syrup.
Centuries ago, Sicilian Benedictine friars crafted this tonic distilled from flowers, spices and herbs, including angelica, anise and sage. With a sweet caramel base and bitter finish, this traditional digestif makes a tasty addition to pomegranate juice shaken over ice with dark rum and fresh lime.
The latest darling of the cocktail world, this Italian bitter made its debut in 1845 thanks to creator Bernardino Branca. A secret combination of herbs, flowers, roots and spices—including saffron, gentian, rhubarb and myrrh—this syrupy, chocolate-brown liqueur can be enjoyed as an after-dinner tonic or added to cocktails as you would bitters.