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New for 2014 from The Handmade Cocktail Company, the Vieux Carré Cocktail is like a Southern twist on the Manhattan, first made in the 1930s by the legendary bartender Walter Bergeron at the Monteleone Hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans (where the drink takes its name from). The Vieux Carré features a recipe of rye whiskey, fine Cognac, a traditional French herbal liqueur, sweet vermouth and a secret blend of bitters.
The concept of the ‘Vintage Cocktail’ range is simple – you get all the ingredients for a superb cocktail pre-mixed, all you have to do is pour it over ice, stir, then strain off into your chilled Martini glass and garnish (you'll need a twist of lemon peel for this). Each bottle carries a stamp showing its year of manufacture.
So go ahead and get acquainted with your new friend, The Vieux Carré. Play nice.
Nose: Fruity nose with hints of plum wine and damsons. Touches of earthy basil, alongside notes of vanilla, toasted oak and spice. Curaçao orange, pepper and digestive biscuit notes appear after a time.
Palate: Luxurious palate entry, rich in orange peel, intense aromatic roots, hints of fresh petals and cracked pepper. The Cognac really stands out brilliant here too, with elegant but powerful vanilla and red grape. Rhubarb crumble, potpourri and saffron too.
Finish: Herbaceous and bittersweet on the finish with tremendous complexity. Red berry fruits, black pepper and a lick of cinnamon.
Overall: A curious and gorgeous mix of rye and Cognac with as much New Orleans character as a Dr John record.
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