A family-owned business since 1821, Luxardo has cultivated a reputation as Italy’s premier liqueur producer, known for their distinctive, all-natural cherry products. This past summer, Luxardo entered the fruit gin category with the release of Luxardo Sour Cherry Gin, an infusion of the brand’s gin distillate with their proprietary Marasca cherry juice, imported by San Francisco’s Hotaling & Co.
The base of Luxardo Sour Cherry Gin is made using the recipe for Luxardo’s London Dry Gin (a product not currently available in the U.S.), which can be traced back to the Ginepro di Dalmazia that the family produced in the 1900’s. The recipe contains a selection of nine botanicals, including juniper, coriander, iris, angelica, sedge, licorice, cinnamon, cardamom, and bitter orange. Once distilled in traditional copper pot stills, the gin is infused with Luxardo’s Marasca cherry juice, made from cherries cultivated exclusively by the Luxardo family in the orchards of the Euganean Hills in the Veneto region of Italy. The result is a bright, rich, and sour taste that retains the strong juniper and spice of the original distillate. Each bottle is outfitted with an artisanal label designed to reflect 19th century Italy, further celebrating the family’s history.
Matteo Luxardo, export director and sixth generation of the Luxardo family shares, “The recipe marries two of our oldest recipes to create a flavored gin, rather than a traditional sloe gin, meant to be used as the main spirit in a cocktail or enjoyed in unusual gin and tonic serves.”
Luxardo Sour Cherry Gin (37.5% ABV)
Nose: Funky blend of ripe cherry, juniper and baking spices. The licorice and cinnamon are at the forefront.
Taste: Not exactly sweet, but definitely fruity. The cherry juice tempers the gin down to an undercurrent. What really makes the flavors pop are the unusual botanicals which create a deep heat on the back of the palate.
Finish: Long and spicy. The cherry fades into a slight cooling effect from the juniper at the tail end.
Overall: Unlike anything else in the world, this is akin to a sour amaro. Perfect for holiday themed libations, I see this getting heavy use at craft cocktail bars this season.
GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Hotaling & Co.