Ballantine Beer Leaderboard
THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION
2 Gingers Header

Spirit Review: Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

An orange liqueur with history
by Jacob Grier on Jul 11, 2012 in Liquor

Does the world need yet another orange liqueur? With so many of them on the market, this is not a category for which I eagerly awaited expansion. Yet when I received a sample of the new Dry Curaçao from Pierre Ferrand — made in collaboration with cocktail historian David Wondrich — I was intrigued, to say the least.

Curaçao and other orange liqueurs are essential in numerous classic cocktail recipes, but despite the commonly used descriptor “triple sec,” there’s nothing dry about many of the versions produced today. Ferrand Dry Curaçao is reportedly based on 18th and 19th century distilling recipes, with the goal of more closely replicating the liqueur as it existed in the early days of American cocktail culture.

The primary flavoring in true Curaçao is peel from the Laraha, a citrus fruit that evolved from Spanish Valencia oranges on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. The fruit from this tree is inedibly bitter, but the peels are packed with aromatics that are captured in alcohol during maceration and distillation.

To make their Dry Curaçao, Ferrand macerates Laraha peel along with small amounts of lemon and sweet oranges in unaged brandy. This infusion is then distilled and blended with Ferrand cognac and aged in oak casks along with additional Curaçao orange peel and a small dose of other spices. The resulting liqueur is nicely balanced, with a little heat from its 80 proof and a long bittersweet finish.

Curaçao mostly finds use in cocktails, and I tried out a handful with the Ferrand to see how it performs. It makes a crisp Pegu Club — one of my favorite summer drinks — mixed with gin, lime, and bitters. It’s also good in a traditional Brandy Crusta. It’s most surprising use for me was in an El Presidente, which combines Cuban rum with sweet white vermouth from Chambery:

El Presidente

1½ oz. white rum
1½ oz. Dolin vermouth blanc
1 bar spoon Ferrand Curaçao
½ bar spoon real pomegranate grenadine

Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange peel.


I’d made this drink on previous occasions and while it wasn’t bad, it never particularly stood out. However I like it a lot more with the Ferrand Curaçao, which has enough character to prevent the drink from being flabby. (Perhaps the drink would be even better with real Cuban rum, but current law makes that difficult to test.)

Ferrand Dry Curaçao is in hot demand with bartenders, so current shipments sell quickly. However it will be showing up on more store shelves as a permanent part of the Ferrand portfolio. At about $30 retail for a bottle, the price is right for mixing and it’s definitely worth picking up.

Photos via Cognac Ferrand on Facebook

Recent Articles
Buy This Book: 'The 12 Bottle Bar'
Watch What Happens When a Dude Uses a Banana to Open a Beer Bottle
Beer Review: Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery's Session Saison
2 Gingers Below Features
From Around The Web

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Watch What Happens When a Dude Uses a Banana to Open a Beer Bottle
by The Drink Nation Aug 18, 2014
Beer Review: Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery's Session Saison

Beer Review: Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery's Session Saison

At 4.9 percent ABV, the farmhouse ale can be consumed over long drinking sessions; its finish is clean, it's light on the palate and its straw-colorat...read more ›

by Nathan Solheim Aug 18, 2014
The Can't-Miss Events of DC Beer Week 2014

The Can't-Miss Events of DC Beer Week 2014

The annual festival celebrates the best brews with tap-takeovers, tastings, limited releases, beer dinners, educational seminars and the chance to mee...read more ›

by Mara Kurlandsky Aug 15, 2014
SPONSORED
Wolaver Brewing Rectangle
Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time

Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time

Writers and musicians have a long, storied history with alcohol, and that intimacy with the bottle shows through in the memorable lines these artists ...read more ›

by Jenny An Sep 3, 2013
Does Sarah Palin Need an Alcohol Intervention?

Does Sarah Palin Need an Alcohol Intervention?

For the second time in a month, her strange behavior has prompted many to wonder if she has a drinking problem ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Aug 15, 2014
Is It Too Soon For Pumpkin Beer?

Is It Too Soon For Pumpkin Beer?

Breweries that prematurely release seasonal beers are making a mockery of the term, while making themselves look foolish...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Aug 14, 2014
Celebrate National Rum Day with The Hammond by Theo Lieberman

Celebrate National Rum Day with The Hammond by Theo Lieberman

We recommend making The Hammond by Theo Lieberman of NYC's Milk & Honey on National Rum Day....read more ›

by Drink Portland Aug 14, 2014
Craft Brewers Modify North Carolina Water to Make Their Beer Taste More Colorado-y

Craft Brewers Modify North Carolina Water to Make Their Beer Taste More Colorado-y

The ultimate goal is to turn out beers that taste exactly the same no matter where they were produced...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Aug 13, 2014
Can Beer Really Provide Insight Into the Collapse of Ancient Civilizations?

Can Beer Really Provide Insight Into the Collapse of Ancient Civilizations?

While beer has been identified as a major catalyst in developing civilizations, can it also serve as an indica...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Aug 12, 2014
Beer Review: Flying Dog Brewery's Dead Rise Summer Ale

Beer Review: Flying Dog Brewery's Dead Rise Summer Ale

This is first and foremost a pretty good summer beer, not too strong, not too hoppy, with a pronounced celery and pepper bouquet, golden body and good...read more ›

by Jordan Davis Aug 12, 2014
SPONSORED
Read The Drink Nation Anywhere You Are
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close