SAFFRON IN MANHATTAN
ESCUBAC – a modern French liqueur
Passing through shelves full of bottles I noticed a fancy colorful label with big black letters: ESCUBAC.
Mhmmm… let’s see… I haven’t been in a relationship with Monsieur Escubac so far… Maybe it’s time to try?
Yes, it was time to try and now we are the best friends forever.
ESCUBAC is a French liqueur, very close to gin, though totally juniper-free. Produced by Sweetdram in Distillerie Combier in France. Much softer than gin, with a pleasant bitterness.
Imagine urban-style apartment in Manhattan, with a big window in front of you. Concrete floor, brick and steel, and a raw wood table in the kitchen.
Come closer. Look at a rosemary and coriander in the white pots and the little jars with spices: caraway, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon… Can you smell it?
Take the fresh lemon from a plate. Rub your fingers with a peel… And what about this piece of cake with raisins and vanilla?
Now look again at the window – space, light, speed, simplicity…
That’s exactly ESCUBAC – fresh, modern liqueur, with a big dose of traditional French flavors and tastes. Distilled with 14 botanicals and naturally sweetened after distillation with a use of raisins and vanilla. It’s lightly colored – also naturally by adding saffron. Do you know what a saffron is? It’s a spice and dye produced from crocus flowers, harvested by hand in Morocco and India. The special fact is that each flower contains only 3 stigmata (“saffron threads”) which should be picked in the morning and it blooms only one week a year. 75K flowers make 1 pound of saffron – so don’t ask me about the price. If you were in Spain, you surely saw a bright yellow rice in paellas, colored with natural saffron. And now you have this precious spice in your glass. Of course, if ESCUBAC is there.
You can drink ESCUBAC simply with ice. Or add the lemon and tonic. Wanna be more creative? Prepare cocktails: Negroni or Tom Collins. Try my recipes if you wish:
1 part of ESCUBAC
1 part of Campari
1 part of sweet vermouth (I use Martini)
Just mix it altogether and pour over the ice.
2 parts of ESCUBAC
1 part of fresh lemon juice
1 part of sugar syrup
Mix it altogether, add club soda and pour over the ice.
If you are super creative – make your own sugar syrup: boil equal amounts of sugar and water, cool it and use for your drinks.
And I bet you will also become BFF with Monsieur Escubac.
I tasted Escubac in Astor Wines & Spirits in NYC – and it’s available there.