First, let me tell you that I’m not generally a fan of liqueurs, especially to be sipped on their own because most are syrupy and my first impression is simply of sweet. Now let me tell you that I’ve found some exceptions, starting with Krupnikas and then Beatnik–it really amazes I’ve now found five that I truly like on their own. Even sweetened with raw cane sugar, my first gustatory experience is not of sweet.
From the Brothers Vilgalys another great liqueur: Zaphod. It’s a light liqueur (for sipping even in the summer) that is very complex–but not overwhelmingly any particular spice or botanical. One of the things that I love about Krupnikas and these liqueurs is the complexity and the blending of all the flavors.
Sniffing the Zaphod suggests something clean, and bright. Taking a sip and holding it in your mouth the flavors begin to unfold. There is the brightness of lemon (lemon grass), the coolness of mint and sweetness of fruit. As the liqueur warms in your mouth you begin to sense the earthiness of sage, and finally a spicy, peppery feel.
The balance of Krupnikas and each of these liqueurs is impressive: they give a whole sequence of tastes–and have a very long finish. I can see this one with soda (seltzer water) or a very light sparkling wine for a summer beverage. Another awesome liqueur.