You Say Tuaca, I Say ...

Well, tuaca, I guess. I didn't realize till I brought the (small size) bottle home and read the label that it's an Italian liqueur. I thought it was Mexican. Tuaca, Damiana - who can remember.

According to wikipedia, legend has it that the recipe was created for Lorenzo the Magnificent. This is beginning to sound like an Antiques Roadshow provenance. It's still made in Tuscany, and the recipe includes citrus, brandy, and vanilla.

Vanilla was the first taste I got. It reminds me a lot of Licor 43, the Spanish liqueur, and Internet Cocktail Database lists Licor 43 as its first substitute if you're out of tuaca. The bar at Vincenzo's in Louisville that I reported on the other day had a large bottle, but I didn't get a chance to ask the ladies what they use it for. Getting guys drunk and tipping. But besides that?

The first drink I tried was a tuaca martini - gin and tuaca. I probably made a mistake pulling out the Tanqueray 10. It was just too herbal, and I couldn't taste much of the tuaca at all.

The second one is something called a Thumper, one of my favorite Disney characters: roughly 2 to 1 gin to tuaca. This time I used Bombay Sapphire. This cocktail played together much more nicely, and the vanilla melded well with the BS, a good blend of flavors.

I needed Godiva white chocolate liqueur for a drink today (it wasn't a big hit among my taste buds, so I won't be reporting on it). I'd just bought a bottle of the regular Godiva liqueur and didn't need another one taking up space in my liqueur cabinet, so I thought I'd get a mini-bottle, to go with my mini-bottles of Jaegermeister and Goldschlager. My local liqueur mart didn't have the white chocolate, but they had the caramel. Close enough.

I decided to try my hand at a concoction: Absolut Raspberry, a little of this Godiva for a chocolate-raspberry mind meld, and a splash of tuaca for some vanilla and citrus (though I'm not sure I've tasted the citrus in it yet).

This drink was only so-so. The Absolut predominated, the Godiva didn't bring that much chocolate to the party, and I only got a whiff of the tuaca. If I try it again, I'll use the regular Godiva and maybe pour half an ounce. Nice try though.

Before I put this posting to bed, I compared Licor 43 and tuaca. Licor is much sweeter and overwhelmingly vanilla. Tuaca has an obvious brandy base, with more bite, less vanilla (I still didn't get the citrus). I guess Lorenzo didn't want his guests to taste the arsenic.