Apricot is a difficult taste to work with, however if you happen to’re exploring basic cocktails, you’ll discover apricot brandy or liqueur a element in dozens of recipes. When recipes name for apricot, they usually name for loads of it. The PDT Cocktail Book affords a recipe for an Apricot Flip which features a wholesome 3/4 oz of the liqueur (to not point out an entire egg). The Liberty Bell cocktail is equal components whiskey, sloe gin, and apricot brandy (plus a touch of bitters).
As with most liqueur classes, the apricot liqueur world has moved upmarket in recent times, and whilst you’ll discover loads of synthetic, candy-colored merchandise on the underside shelf of your native liqueur retailer, the 5 liqueurs (and one brandy eau-de-vie) reviewed listed below are all genuine, made out of actual apricots — typically simply apricots, typically loads of different substances, as you’ll see under.
For this evaluation, I tasted all of those samples neat. Right here they’re ranked by choice, beginning with the perfect.
Distillerie Purkhart Blume Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie – Austrian, an unaged distillate of Klosterneuberger apricots — 4.5 kilos of which go into every 375ml bottle. That is the one clear spirit on this roundup, and it’s arguably the purest expression of distilled apricot you will discover. The nostril is clear and frivolously cottony — and gently perfumed with initially vague floral parts. The palate proves itself to be fairly fairly and refined. The earthiness that you simply discover in any fruit eau-de-vie claws a bit in the back of the throat, however what emerges in brief order after that fades is a vibrant expression of real, semi-sweet apricot, vigorous with notes of genuine fruit, some recent citrus, and hints of baking spice. I stored going again to this over and over; the gorgeously floral fragrance notes left within the glass, even after it’s empty, are nothing wanting enchanting. It’s not a standard liqueur that you simply’d use in a cocktail — however it was nonetheless my favourite expertise on this lineup. 80 proof. A / $30 (375ml) [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur – Austrian. That is additionally made at Distillerie Purkhart, from a base that begins with Blume Marillen brandy, plus Klosterneuberger apricots and a light-handed spray of sugar, making for a extra conventional liqueur construction. It’s an instantly participating spirit, with a transparent, recent apricot notice that comes throughout as genuine and ripe, and by no means overtly candy. Naturally, one needs some degree of sugar in a liqueur, and R&W’s expression manages to journey a superb, nearly excellent line between its candy and bitter notes. I missed the daring florals of Blume Marillen, however they’d probably be washed away in a cocktail anyway. It’s a completely strong mixer and my simple decide for the highest conventional liqueur on this class. Nice value, too. 48 proof. A- / $22 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Luxardo Apricot Albicocca Liqueur – Italian. This higher-proof liqueur as a merely “infusion of apricots’ pulp in sugar beet alcohol.” A lot of caramel coloring provides this a distinctly cola-colored hue. This liqueur is fruity however not overwhelming with apricot character, with notes that really feel nearer to peach, with citrus a secondary notice. There’s a major almond character right here, way more prevalent than than in a lot of the different liqueurs on this roundup, which makes it work as an amaretto substitute, ought to you end up in a pinch. 60 proof. B+ / $25 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Marie Brizard Apry Apricot Liqueur – French. “Apricot infusions, alcohol, Gautier Cognac, and rum from Martinique.” The nostril is sort of candy however filled with apricot fruit, with a transparent almond kick on the nostril akin to Luxardo’s. It’s silky on the tongue with a definite creaminess, that includes vanilla and almonds in important proportion, the apricot surprisingly taking a little bit of a again seat. This sips extra clearly as a candy after-dinner liqueur, and whereas it goes down simple (it’s the lowest-proof spirit within the lineup), the apricot component is in the end a bit misplaced. Strong worth. 41 proof. (A 60 proof model is seemingly on the market someplace, too.) B+ / $15 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
The Bitter Reality Apricot Liqueur – German, made out of “the juice of sun-ripened apricots with an apricot schnapps that was distilled from the identical fruit and simply the correct quantity of sugar.” Candy and floral on the nostril in equal proportions, with a palate that lands someplace between peach and apricot, with a caramel-heavy sweetness and a little bit of orange peel thrown into the combination. A vanilla notice on the end solely enhances the sweeter facet of the liqueur, which culminates in a barely cloying end. 44 proof. B / $30 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Merlet Lune d’Abricot Apricot Liqueur – French. A brandy made out of two sorts of Rousillon apricots, blended with younger Merlet Cognac. Fairly a unique animal on the nostril, the place an aggressive fruit notice greets the drinker. Candied apricots, lemon peel, and grapefruit all mix to make for a unusual aroma. The palate emerges as equally odd: Very sharp and bitter, with a floral notice that feels extra like potpourri reasonably than recent fruit blossoms. There’s manner an excessive amount of occurring right here, making for a liqueur that’s curious at its greatest; off-putting at its worst. 50 proof. B- / $28 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]