The Dovetail - adapted from Bradstreet Craftshouse

The Dovetail - adapted from Bradstreet Craftshouse

Fall is made for perfect citrus cocktails, and that calls for curaçao, the centuries old sweet orange elixir which originated on its namesake island off the northern coast of Venezuela.

Around the turn of the 16th century, Spaniards introduced the sweet Valencia orange to the Caribbean island of Curaçao. The island had ideas of its own, however, and the orange became small and bitter over the years, and might have been overlooked forever if not for its one unique feature: The peel was full or intense aromatic essence, and eventually found its own way into history.

Curaçao, the liqueur, shines in this modern cocktail created at the Bradstreet Craftshouse in Minneapolis. The “Dovetail” combines orange liqueur (originally made with Grand Marnier at Bradstreet), grapefruit and lemon juices, and orange bitters. I’m partial to a less-sweet cocktail, so used Pierre Ferrand’s Dry Curacao (rather than the sweeter Grand Marnier), which is a modern recreation of the “old style” of French curacao found in the 19th century and made in the “ancient method”.

This involves using a base spirit of grape brandy, and a subtle technique known as mise en value (“enhancing”) in which unnoticed background flavors are used to bring out the main flavor (in this case, orange). These mystery ingredients, such as sun-dried walnut skins, grilled almonds, and prunes, are aged in cognac before being added to the mix to create the orange “essence”. The flavor is just right and fantastic when trying to experience how classic old cocktails might have tasted in their heyday.

As a puzzle-lover, perhaps I like this orange liqueur even more due to the description of this process by Alexandre Gabriel, the owner of Pierre Ferrand: "You don't taste the puzzle, but the orange in its whole." Here’s a Texas toast to this delightful dovetail.

Cheers y'all!


Dovetail puzzle boxes pair well with the Dovetail

For more information about this box and booze pairing, see the full article: Dovetail Delights