Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace is a rather unique and special beer. Many brews are made with a combination of hop varieties this beer is very different as it uses 1 single hop from which it takes its name, the sorachi ace. While many hops are hundreds of years old, not so for the Sorachi Ace. It was custom engineered by Sapporo in Japan in the late 70s from a combination of Brewer’s Gold and Saaz hops, both classic varieties. Sorachi Ace hops also shows off one final unique characteristic by having a flavor of lemon and dill, different than the citrus/grapefruit/grass action of many hops.
So Brooklyn Brewery took this unique hop and used it in the somewhat special style of saison. Saisons are a complex style with a wide range of possible profiles, however, most are dry, moderate strength beers that are refreshing on hot summer days. They’re the second runner up for summer beers next to wheat beers like Bell’s Oberon and Sam Adam’s Summer Ale. Per the Brooklyn Brewery website Sorachi Ace is “a cracklingly dry, hoppy unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, but made entirely with now-rare Sorachi Ace hops grown by a single farm in Washington.”
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On this week’s episode of Bottoms Up, Charlie and I reviewed Domaine de Canton, a wonderful ginger liqueur from France. I was first turned onto this liqueur after having a Red Headed Stranger at Bakersfield and was so impressed I decided to go out and purchase a bottle for home. This is a very high quality liqueur that makes a wonderful bottle for both professional and amateur mixologists. It has a very clean flavor, lightly sweet and with a really wonderful ginger bite. What makes this liqueur different from others is that it is cognac based, dating back to the French tradition of making herbed elixirs with eaux de vie or cognac instead of wine or grain alcohol. Although ginger is the dominate flavor, the recipe also includes vanilla and orange blossom honey. Domaine de Canton has been well received by the critics since it was reintroduced with a new recipe in 2007. The liqueur won Double Gold Medal (Best of Show) in the herbal/botanical liqueur category at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Proof66.com designates Domaine de Canton as a “Tier 1” liqueur based on expert reviews. For tasting purposes on the show, I made Charlie a selection of cocktails using the liqueur, including a Dark and Stormier, a Red Headed Stranger, and one of my own creation that I have decided to call the Honey Buzz. It has a more gentle bite than the other two drinks and the combination of honey, ginger, and lemon are a proven winner. Try one for yourself.
The Honey Buzz
1 1/2 ounces Wild Turkey American Honey Bourbon
3/4 ounce Domaine de Canton
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker, shake well and then pour into cocktail glass.
Garnish with twist of lemon and enjoy!