An excellent example of a French style Annisette
Note: In business since 1755, Marie Brizard has a long tradition of excellence and a commitment to use NATURAL products in making its liqueurs-unlike many of the cheaper knock off liqueurs which use synthetic ingredients and chemicals.
This is a French version of Anisette (there are blend/stylistic differences from Italian Anisette). Made from 11 different herbs and spices, distilled and/or macerated then distilled again. Anisette is a complicated drink to make, similar in complexity to gin. Like gin, it also has just as many or more bad blends and a few good ones. So keep trying the various Anisettes out there and try to forget about any unfortunate early experiences you may have had (again like gin many of us have run afoul of this early on)- or at least remember enough not to repeat the what happened one night- and enjoy the drink.
First Impression: Wonderful complex bouquet: anise, Seville orange, lemon balm, verbena, vanilla, orris root (?0, perhaps? A light alcohol presence.
Appearance: Crystal clear- amazing body. On swirling, leaves a oily even coat on the glass with sparse but thick legs developing.
Taste: Viscous/syrupy mouthfeel, heavy bodied stuff. Licorice/Anise wrapped around a complex dance of spice around the edges, but hard to put names to. The sugar presence is nicely blended in to the body giving a silk like feel. A long pleasant finish with little alcohol presence, slight warmth in the finish. Very much a (good) French version of Anisette.
Drinks: We tried it in some of the usual method with water and in drinks calling for it. Makes for a much smoother experience in a drink than the usual Anisette you find.
Bottle: A departure from the signature Marie Brizard bottle- but harkens back to antique European liqueur bottles. Neck has a trumpet flare to shoulder to cylindrical body angling to a inward. Toward the bottom, it flares out again for a more stable base. Drawing of Marie Brizard on top of cap.
Other: Maker of a large portfolio of other liqueurs, among them: Amaretto, Apry, Banana, Cassis, Creme de Cacao (White), Creme de Cacao (Brown), Curacao, Curacao (Blue), Creme de Menthe, Creme de Menthe (Green), Grand Orange, Raspberry, Strawberry, Triple Sec, and many others that are not imported into the U.S. (much to our loss).
Final Thoughts: Much smoother, more rounded and thicker bodied than the cheap competitors not to mention the flavor. It’s like the difference between Hershey and Scharfenberger Chocolates. Pricier than a number of cheap thin and shallow imitators but worth the extra money especially if you do the math (see Cocktail Math in recipes section).
Website: http://www.mariebrizard.com orhttp://www.boissetamerica.com/products/BrandDetails.aspx?BrnId=7
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