Tenth Ward Bottle Club Release: Citrus Liqueur
Written by Bret Kimbrough, Manager, Distilling and Operations
When a lot of us think of citrus, our minds tend to wander to the standard offerings at the local grocer. Navel oranges, limes, lemons, maybe the occasional tangerine. But, in reality, the world of citrus is just that: a whole world of options. Fruits like deep red-fleshed blood oranges, massive pomelos, and Meyer Lemons find their way into specialty markets and broaden our horizons a bit, but then when we visit an international store like H Mart or Lotte, suddenly we are bombarded with a plethora of bumpy-peeled offerings that come in a rainbow of colors and seemingly endless flavors. Oranges that are sour, limes that look like little fingers, a funky yellow citrus called Buddha’s Hand that doesn’t even contain any flesh and looks like it belongs in a horror movie.
Just one quick Google search and you will see that this class of fruit is much, much larger than many of us could have guessed. And it’s not just the fruits of these plants that are used in our diets, either. So, what does that have to do with you, dear reader? Well, I’ll tell you.
How It’s Made
We sourced three kinds of these magical fruits for you so that we could make a delicious and exotic citrus liqueur, each using a different part of the fruit/plant.
First, we have the Seville Orange, a sour orange originally from Southeast Asia, but named for the region in Spain where it was introduced by Muslim populations. We used the peel of this beauty to give the liqueur a creamy fruit vibe that is rich and silky.
Next, we have Makrut lime, but not the fruit. The leaves of this plant are what we are after. They have a savory spice flavor to them that is reminiscent of sweet curries, in which they are heavily used in Thai cuisine. They give the liqueur depth and complexity.
And last but certainly not least, we have the mighty yuzu. A lemon-like fruit that is a hybrid of the Mandarin orange and another fruit that is native to Tibet. The bright acidity and floral quality of the yuzu is incomparable and brings a liveliness to the liqueur that positively makes it dance on your tongue.
So, we have all of these colors. What canvas will we paint them on? How about barrel aged cherry apple brandy made from local cider that our friends at McCutcheon’s pressed for us? Yeah, we thought you would like that.
After column distilling our lovely McCutcheon’s cider, we place the brandy gently into one of our used single malt rye barrels to give it a little kiss of oak character to further elevate the fruit flavors.
After its barrel nap, the brandy is infused with the seville orange, Makrut lime leaf and yuzu until the citrus flavor is positively bursting out of it. We then sweeten it with just the right amount of sugar to bring the citrus profile to a peak and bottle it for you to enjoy.
Ingredients: Cherry apple brandy, Seville orange peel, Makrut lime leaf, yuzu syrup and sugar. We used simple granulated sugar to sweeten this spirit because we wanted the fruit flavors to be front and center. A more assertive sweetener would mask the lovely citrus we are showcasing for you.
Tasting Notes: Creamy orange sherbet nose with lemon flower highlights and spicy lime notes with a hint of tart cherry. Rich on the pallet with the orange coming in first like a creamsicle followed by the assertive acidity of the yuzu. The Makrut lime leaf forms a sturdy undercurrent of warm savoriness that the other flavors float on top of. The sweetness is bold, but balanced, and helps bring out the natural citrus complexity and gives the liqueur a rich mouthfeel.
How to Mix It
2 oz Tenth Ward Citrus Liqueur
.75 oz Lemon Juice
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
Sugar Rim and Orange Peel Garnish
Rim a glass with sugar, pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake and strain into a martini glass, garnish
1 oz Tenth Ward Citrus Liqueur
1 oz Tenth Ward Maryland Rye
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 Dash Benedictine or Liqueur
2 Dashes Peycahud’s Bitters
Lemon peel garnish
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, stir and strain into a rocks glass. Top with ice, and garnish with a lemon peel.
1 oz Tenth Ward Citrus Liqueur
1 oz Coffee Liqueur
1 oz Cream
Ground Nutmeg garnish
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Freshly shave nutmeg on top.
How do I get my hands on it???
Want access to our special quarterly releases? Want to be invited to member-only events? Want access to member-only menu items? Head to tenthwarddistilling.com/clubs/ OR talk to one of our incredible staff members next time you visit to join!
Are you looking for that perfect gift for a fellow spirits lover? You can give a club membership as a gift!