Thursday, September 18, 2014

Berentzen Wild Cherry Liqueur: Play that funky music, German boys

I'm typing this post from a lowball liquor and packaged food convention where I'm not really supposed to be ... it's a long story. At the next couch, two people are preparing a bid for industrial vacuum-packed rotisserie chicken. There are sooo many bottles of scary-looking hooch designed for 99-cent stores. For "Sandman" readers, it's like walking through the production backstage of an alcoholic's nightmare.

There's nothing here I want to drink other than coffee and water. But back home, I still have half a bottle of Berentzen Wild Cherry Liqueur sent to me as a sample, and this seems the perfect time to write about it, because I can remember the flavor, and that will sustain me.

Berentzen has been around longer than the United States, making liquor in Germany since 1758. The company was in the Berentzen family for more than 200 years before going public in 1994.

The company claims it created a
nightmarenew type of spirit in 1976, when it blended grain spirit with apple juice. If this ended up evolving into the Appletini, they've got a lot to answer for.

Today Berentzen makes three fruit liqueurs, and the apple was the only one I didn't like. It's not all that boozy at 20 percent alcohol, but it's rough and alcoholic tasting. The other two are exceptional.

Berentzen Pear Liqueur is one of the most delicate fruit liqueurs I've had, with the subtle flavor of a fresh pear, not overly sweet. It's so light that you'd think it would need to be consumed on its own. But I have been drinking it in a whiskey glass on the rocks with a splash of absinthe, giving me a lazily-made cocktail with a fruity entry and a long complex finish.

My favorite is Berentzen Wild Cherry Liqueur, which is delightful on the rocks. Most cherry liqueurs are too sweet, but this has bright cherry flavor, great freshness and a clean finish. It's probably a fine cocktail ingredient but I like it too much on its own to experiment with it.

If I can make it home from this convention with my palate undamaged, I'm going to treat myself to a glass. The perfect pairing is one of the all-time-great one-hit-wonder songs, by the group Wild Cherry. Enjoy.

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1 comment:

Wineskillguy said...

I want to know more about the food convention, scary!