Honey Sips: Escubac from Sweetdram
We’re not playing at anything here: we bought this because it’s gorgeous, the kind of thing you’d find in Urban Outfitters if they sold alcohol.
Meet Escubac, a spirit from London’s Sweetdram, and your delicious new friend. To properly explain what Escubac is is to explain what Escubac isn’t: it’s not Gin. But it’s similar.
Sweetdram essentially makes a botanical spirit similar to gin but without the Juniper. It isn’t a gin, but has a lot of the qualities people love in one: cardamom, caraway, citrus, etc. It ends up making two things, a really drinkable spirit, and a quickly converted office of gin-lovers. We scoffed at the idea of their jenever without juniper, but were quickly proven wrong.
The beauty of gin as a base spirit is that it has so many botanicals and threads running through it that it ends up pairing with just about anything you want it to. Remove the juniper and classic cocktails end up having new and interesting notes shine through.
By itself, Escubac has an incredibly drinkable summery-citrus undertone with notes of lime and grapefruit peel, but with warming notes of anise, cardamom, and even some vanilla. We found our favorite way to drink it was in Gin & Tonics: 3 cubes, 2oz of gin and filled to the brim with Fever Tree Indian tonic water with a lemon twist (at the recommendation of Sweetdram). That being said, this is a workhorse: it will complement just about anything you pair it with.
If you see some at the store you have to pick it up, we found it at Corti Brothers in Sacramento (which you should be going to anyway, they’ve been around 70 years: it’s an institution) but it’s also available through Astor Wines online. Not that you’ll have any trouble noticing this on shelves, I mean, it truly is gorgeous. It’s drinkable, interesting, and you’ll never throw the bottle away.
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