This liqueur is taken directly from the first cocktail book ever published, How To Mix Drinks, or The Bon-vivant’s Companion.

Written by one Jerry Thomas, this book first appeared in 1862 (during the American Civil War) and is an invaluable window on a different age of beverages.

Composed of whiskey and orange this ‘curaçao’ has quite a different flavor to that of more common curaçaoes such as Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or more generic ‘triple sec’ liqueurs.

There is a defined smokiness, and the citrus is more at the mandarin end of the spectrum than the under-ripe orange.

Used in place of Cointreau in traditional cocktails it gives quite a different taste to drinks such as the Sidecar or White Lady. Simply mixed with tonic water over ice it is surprisingly complex. However, it really comes into its own when used in 19th and early 20th Century recipes specifically calling for ‘dry curaçao’. Try a ‘Floating Power’ cocktail from The Café Royal Cocktail Book, or the ‘Canadian Cocktail’ from The Savoy Cocktail Book - these drinks only really sing when used with a proper ‘dry curaçao’.

 As with the Smoke & Oakum’s Gunpowder Rum, Jerry Thomas’ English Curaçao is a revival of a method of rendering spirituous beverages that is at odds with modern products. Unlike modern liqueurs sulfur is not used to preserve the fruit character (once opened the liqueur should be kept in a cool environment as you would for a sherry or other fortified beverage – this will help it to retain the finer notes). The product is clarified with a touch of egg white (not suitable for vegans). Finally the orange character will change subtly with the seasons as different varieties of orange become available.

All of this runs contra to the thinking behind many modern liqueurs which are generally designed to have a high sugar and sulfur content which, combined with the use of artificial flavors, prolongs their shelf-life at the expense of character and ‘freshness’.

English Curaçao is presented wrapped in reproduced pages from Jerry Thomas’ book; to give homage where it is due (and also some 19th century cocktail recipes to consider) and also to protect the contents from damaging sunlight.

Regular price $65.99 $49.99 Sale

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Up to 12 bottles of wine or equivalent mls:
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North Island (rural): $10
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South Island(rural): $15

Up to 24 bottles of wine or equivalent mls:
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North Island (rural): $20
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We endeavour to dispatch orders the next business day, couriers can take 1 to 2 business days to deliver to non-rural addresses and 2 to 3 days to deliver to rural addresses. Please see below for exceptions during December:

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