The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2017

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84  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2017 CATEGORY REPORT THE LOVABLE LIQUEURS THAT SHOULD FIND THEIR WAY ONTO YOUR SHELF THIS SUMMER California Dreaming with CHAREAU ALOE LIQUEUR "The whole idea was to put California in a bottle," says Chareau Aloe Liqueur creator (and fourth-generation Californian) Kurt Charron of his newly launched elixir. While many amari, fernets and bitters use aloe as a bittering agent, Charron had never seen it as a main ingredi- ent, and he thought it just might work as the hero in a new kind of liqueur. Chareau (SRP $45/750 ml) is made with aloe vera, cucumber, lemon peel, muskmelon, spearmint, sugar and spring water, with a Muscat eau-de-vie base. Each of the botanical ingredients is grown by California farmers, including the grapes for the base spirit. Charron started distilling batches of the low-sugar, silky drink in his kitchen and quickly sold the initial batch of 600 bottles to a handful of bars around Los Angeles. Eighteen months later, he built a distillery about an hour outside L.A. and outfitted it with a copper pot still from Arnold Holstein, one of the highest-quality stills available, Charron says. The liqueur is made by grinding up the botanicals, then macerating them in the grape spirit and re-distilling the liquid, a process that "locks in all the flavors," he explains. Fresh aloe juice provides the bitter elements and lends a soft mouthfeel. "When I created Chareau, I wanted it to be something that made things easier for both bartenders and people at home, so I kept the sugar lower than most liqueurs," he says. "The sugar content is low enough that it's something you can sip right out of the bottle like fortified wine, or on the rocks with a splash of soda. It's easy to incorporate into a light drink like a Collins and great with agave spirits. It's extremely versatile." —Amy Collins Tasting Notes Chareau Aloe Liqueur, at 50 proof, is awash with cucumber and spiced aloe on the nose. Sensuously textured, the flow of the spirit is silky and sweetly appointed with spearmint and lemon-drop flavors. 93 —Meridith May CHAREAU Favites THE Favites THE LOVABLE Favites LOVABLE LIQUEURS Favites LIQUEURS THAT Favites THAT Flavor p

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