One of the exciting new products I tried at Manhattan Cocktail Classic was Sorel, a hibiscus liqueur produced by Jack from Brooklyn. I first tried it at the Gala and then at Brooklyn Day, one of the themed days of the Industry Invitational. Over 15 vendors from Brooklyn came together at the Andaz 5th Avenue including Sorel.
I was immediately reminded of Ribena, a black current syrup used to make drinks. Take care though not to confuse the two. Sorel is mixed with not only Nigerian ginger, Indonesian cassia and Brazilian clove, it contains 100% New York grain alcohol. It’s 15% alcohol.
Guests got to try four cocktails. I tasted two including the Columbia & Congress and Flor de Fuego.
The cocktails were created by bartenders from Brooklyn bars Huckleberry and Jakewalk. Sorel is a versatile liqueur. It could be treated as a modifier or enjoyed straight, hot or cold.
I particularly liked the Flor de Fuego and liked the punch of tartness from the Columbia & Congress.
Flor de Fuego – created by Michael Dulle of Jakewalk
- 1 oz Sorel
- 1/2 oz El Buho Mezcal
- 3/4 oz Laird’s Applejack Bonded, 100 Proof
- 3/4 oz Dolin Blanc
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir, strain into ice-filled rocks glass, lemon twist to garnish.
Columbia & Congress – created by Michael Dulle of Jakewalk
- 1-1/2 oz Flor de Cana
- 1 oz. Sorel
- 1/4 oz lime juice
- 1/4 oz simple syrup
Shake, strain into coupe, garnish with a lime wheel.
God Save the Queen – created by Juan Castillo of Huckleberry
- 1-1/2 oz. Brooklyn Gin
- 3/4 oz. Sorel
- 3/4 oz. lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. Cocchi Americano
Shake, strain into a coupe, garnish with lemon twist.
Punchy’s Tipple – created by Michael Dulle of Jakewalk
- 1-1/2 oz King’s County distillery Bourbon
- 1/2 oz. Sorel
- 1/2 oz. Cointreau
- 1/2 oz. St. Germain Elderflower
Stir, strain into rocks glass, orange twist expressed (served neat with twist discarded).
Check out more recipes here.
Later I got to try Brooklyn Gin on its own. I quite liked it and am very excited it’s coming to LA soon. I hope Sorel follows soon! I think LA bartenders would have fun using it in drinks, particularly those featuring the bounty from our local farmers’ markets. On the other hand, I could see it in classic cocktails as well. A Sorel Manhattan would be an interesting twist.
The Minty’s article for Tasting Panel Magazine
Index of MCC articles by The Minty
© The Minty // LACocktails.com 2012