Lucien Jacob Creme de Cassis {and a Cassis Campari cocktail}

Fort Bragg, CA, a small coastal mill town just north of Mendocino, furnished many tender memories throughout my childhood, the most recent of which, intoxicating. There is a certain Proustian effect that is enkindled when I intake the wet air, the vegetal marine rot, even the thorns of the brackish brambles.

creme de cassis campari cocktail

Today, however, I find much more nostalgic triggers in a glass of wine as this place is responsible for much of my adult education: the virtues of solitude, importance of family, and the deep, meditative pleasures of fine food and drink. Ironically, I find myself taken back to these places when I drink Domain Lucien Jacob, a Creme de Cassis from Burgundy I’ve only very recently begun to enjoy.

domain lucien jacob creme de cassis

This complex blackcurrant liqueur’s syrupy demeanor neither cloys nor chokes, but gives way to a joyful astringency and subtle acidity. And everything in its aroma suggests fresh and lively plant life beyond the dark, rich juice of the blackcurrant. It hints at traces of the skins, leaves, roots, and soil but also the variety of woodland growth woven into the terroir. In the wine world, this is called garrigue. Naturally, these flavors and aromas conjure up countless indistinguishable memories for me. I had to capture them in a cocktail.

Cassis campari cocktail with tequila

The Garrigue cocktail began as my own slight variation of the Teresa Cocktail–which brilliantly blends Campari, cassis, and lime juice. This combination brings a delectable and surprisingly refreshing bitterness to the cassis; but I wanted more. I wanted this cocktail to speak, express the land. So I needed more vegetal and herbaceous qualities. Strangely, blanco tequila yields fresh grassy notes when placed in the right context. In this context, the “green” flavors pop and crunch elegantly with the bittersweet dark fruit of the cassis and Campari and the vernal acidity of the lime juice. But it wasn’t quite the dramatic expression of garrigue that I was attempting to capture. Garrigue usually includes rosemary, thyme, lavender, and juniper with pungent floral fragrance. No problem. A dash of Bittermens Burlesque Bitters and a fresh thyme garnish tied it all together. Suddenly, the blackberry brambles that twist and tangle their way along the shoreline found their way into a martini glass.

Cassis3

Here you have it. A tantalizing cocktail steeped in deep memory and a showcase of the smells and flavors of the land that gave it life. The Garrigue, a cassis Campari cocktail made possible by this delectable Creme de Cassis from Domain Lucien Jacob available at Craft Wine and Beer and other purveyors of fine wine and spirits!

The Garrigue
 
This spin on the Teresa Cocktail combines the fine Domain Lucien Jacob Creme de Cassis with Campari, lime juice, and blanco tequila to represent the flavor profile of garrigue, the herbal and floral undergrowth that imparts itself into many French wines. This cocktail has a powerful, nostalgic flavor.
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1.5 ounces Campari
  • 1 ounce blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 0.75 ounce Domain Lucien Jacob Creme de Cassis
  • Dash of Bittermens Burlesque Bitters
  • Fresh thyme
Directions
  1. Place Campari, tequila, lime juice, Lucien Jacob cassis, and bitters in a shaker.
  2. Fill ⅔ with ice.
  3. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
  4. Double strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.

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Nicholas Stanton

Bartender/Sales Associate at Craft Wine & Beer
I am strongly rooted in the Reno community. I believe in radically local ethics and the consumer support of micro communities. A large component of this is in the arts to express our realities, outdoor activities to encourage health and a deep care for the environment and food and drink culture to support local producers, farmers, and businesses. When I'm not geeking out and purveying new and exciting products at Craft Wine & Beer, I can be found cycling around town, reading literature of the Americas and dense philosophy and critical theory. Oh yeah, and keeping my two neurotic Border Collies entertained.
Filed under: Spirit Reviews
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