by Emily Bihl
Chicory may be well known throughout the country as the secret ingredient in “New Orleans-style coffee,” but even in the Crescent City it’s hard to find the flavor unattached to its coffee companion. In fact, even the denizens of New Orleans might be hard-pressed to describe what chicory itself tastes like. This is why New Hampshire independent distillery Tamworth Distilling’s latest venture is so intriguing, if not a little ambitious. The company, helmed by Hendrick’s Gin creator Steven Grasse, has just introduced its latest spirit: an amaro-like homage to chicory undercut with the flavors of cane sugar and a hint of cinnamon, known as Blue Lion Chicorée Liqueur.
The 40% ABV tipple contains a few surprising ingredients. As Blue Lion is named for the dandelion-like flower of the chicory plant, the inclusion of dandelion root in the recipe was perhaps a clear mental leap. Rye seeds, as well, impart a rich, earthy flavor to the spirit. Altogether, the result is a surprisingly light but grounded liqueur. Guided by a cocktail recipe from Tamworth—that unsurprisingly involves coffee—we went a bit off-script and substituted local Nola favorite French Truck cold brew concentrate for standard iced coffee. It yielded a delicious chicory-infused coffee treat, not to mention, a socially acceptable way to add a splash of booze to our afternoon.
1.5 oz Blue Lion Chicory
2.5 oz iced coffee (cold brew is best)
.5 Simple Syrup, ideally made with Demarara or brown sugar
Add all ingredients into a shaker, give a quick shake, strain into glass with ice. Lightly shake some cream, float over the top of the drink. Grind a little cinnamon or nutmeg on the top.
Blue Lion Chicorée Liqueur is available now, via Warehouse Wines + Spirits, for $40.
Cocktail image courtesy of Tamworth Distilling, all other images by Ileana Ortiz