I recently procured a curious cornucopia of conifer liqueurs. The brand is called Wild Moon, and they seem to specialize in slices of liqueur that you'd more likely find on the forest or garden floor. To test them out, I picked up their Birch and Lavender liqueurs, and if I'm impressed, I'll go back and snag their Cucumber liqueur (yeah, you heard me).
All this nature talk got me thinking on flavors and fey, and today I wanted to share with you a drafting test. My target out of the gate is to find a happy pairing for the Birch liqueur, which has a woody hint of licorice in its palette, but beyond that the end result's concept is only half-formed, so I'm open to new possibilities.
...Means we have a few taste tests to run through.
Test #1 - A Simple Honey
Test Recipe - since I'm just testing new flavors, I'll go small doses in equal parts.
1 oz Irish Mist Honey Whiskey
1 oz Wild Moon Birch liqueur
4 dashes Angostura Bitters
+ Burn comes at the back of the sip
+ Licorice of the Birch gives way to the honey quick
+ Smooth, but dark
First Notes: This does what I wanted it to do. It's smooth and tasty without an intense burn. And I like the warmth at the end. The Birch and the Irish Whiskey meld WELL. On its own, this is a fine shot, but I still feel like something's missing.
Test #2 - Mead Need
Everything from #1 and:
1 oz Dry Mead
+ The licorice is OBLITERATED by the honey wine
+ Less sharp, but I'm not a fan
+ So much honey now...
Second Notes: This works if my goal was to make a honey drink. Slap some seltzer on this floozy and enjoy your weakness. Not the direction I wanted; it needs to heighten the Birch, not CRUSH it.
Test #3 - A Fruity Addition
Everything from #1 and:
1 oz Peachtree Schnapps
+ Welcome to PEACH country
+ I'm serious...
Third Notes: any semblance of another identity just got smashed by the overpowering FRUIT that is Peachtree. I should have known better; that's not a subtle flavor - that is a power-hungry princess that will happily murder her delicate prized puppy if it gives her the throne. No thank you.
Test #4 - A Hint Of Fire
Test Recipe - steering hard away from other fruity flavors, and unwilling to risk the Lavender, instead I aim to lean into a hint of cinnamon. The subtle bite and burn from Test #1 still lingers in my process, and I want to see if I can coax it out from dark edges of the forest.
1/2 oz Birch Liqueur
1/2 oz Irish Mist Honey
1/2 oz Fireball
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
+ A solid shot
+ The Fireball heightens the tiny bite of the Birch
+ The honey whiskey pairs with the cinnamon
+ "Backburn" well intact
+ Lovely warmth
Fourth Notes: Not overpowering, and that was the goal. The Birch should be the star here, and finally it is. The licorice hint pairs well with the bite of honey whiskey, and the cinnamon ties them both together. The bitters seal the deal.
Feel free to order this one at the Moonriver anytime.
Imbibe responsibly, and beware the deals of the Fey.
Professional Game Master musician, music teacher, game designer, amateur bartender, and aspiring fiction author.
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