Joyeux Creme de Noyaux

Christmas in July a month late.

My recipe for today calls for creme de noyaux, which is an amaretto-like liqueur made from apricot pits, but very sweet and with lots of red dye no. less than 10, higher than 1. Much sweeter than your regular amaretto (I slugged a little from the bottle to check; it's a guy thing).

Just for kicks I made a taste test against parfait amour, another highly colored liqueur. Parfait amour is just purple, with not much taste. Maybe another brand - I have Marie Brizzard; Bols makes it too - would have more flavor.

I looked around for recipes using creme de noyaux (now that I have a big bottle of the stuff), and there aren't many. One is the 'pink squirrel', what you see if you've been eating nutmegs: a whole ounce of the stuff (creme de noyaux, not nutmeg), creme de cacao again, and cream. It would sure be pink and nutty.

Today's concoction calls for 2 oz of gin (I used Plymouth), a dash of creme de noyaux (which I'd noticed in one of my smaller local liquor marts when I'd been in there, the only out-of-the-ordinary liqueur on their shelf), a dash of white creme de cacao, a dash of lemon juice, and a couple splashes of orange bitters.

It was tastier than I thought it'd be. I'm not sure I liked the chocolate/cacao flavor all that much, but it wasn't bad. Maybe another liqueur (passion fruit?) would work better.

A similar drink I found online, the 'Old Etoninan' (where DO they come up with these names for drinks?), calls for equal parts gin and lillet (blanc, I assumed) and splashes of orange bitters and noyaux. Only three-fourth ounce each of the gin and the lillet, which hardly makes drinking worthwhile, so I upped those quantities.

Verdict: not too bad, but I like Lillet by itself on ice; this brew just hides its flavors. Maybe I can use my creme de noyaux in a few months in a baked something de noel.