Timing is everything in bringing a new product to market, and French ginger liqueur Domaine de Canton’s was perfect in 2007. Craft mixology had lifted off; it also helped that the ginger flavor profile had picked up steam, thanks in part to increased interest in Asian cuisine.
Billed as “the world’s first premium ginger liqueur,” Domaine de Canton is made from fresh baby ginger fortified by fine eau de vie and Cognac. The elegant, bamboo-shaped bottle conveys its Asian heritage, while the rich ginger spiciness and smoothness lends French sophistication to the liqueur.
Maurice Cooper et Cie, the company that create the product, also did a good job developing and promoting signature drink recipes that use Domaine de Canton.
The brand, which has an average retail price of $34.99, was sold to Heaven Hill Distilleries in July 2014. The ginger liqueur has become a favorite with consumers, mixologists and chefs alike.
St. Germain (2007)
Before there was St. Germain, most consumers would be hard-pressed to identify the elderflower flavor profile. But once the elderflower liqueur came out in 2007, it was suddenly an indispensible elixir for bartenders everywhere.
Beautiful packaging, a whimsical story (made from starry white flowers, hand-gathered at their peak in the mountains by French villagers and delivered via bicycle!) and a subtle, floral/fruit flavor that hints at pear, lemon and grapefruit made the product a must-try. The premium, unique and highly mixable spirit is a bartender’s darling.
Coopers Spirit Co., which created St. Germain, sold the brand to Bacardi in 2013. Though it has spawned numerous competitors, St. Germain remains the elderflower elixir of choice for many. It’s sometimes called the bartender’s ketchup because it appears in so many recipes. The St. Germain cocktail—2 parts brut Champagne, 1 ½parts St. Germain, 2 parts sparkling water—has even become a modern classic.
Irish cream liqueurs owned the creamy cordials category since Baileys was launched 1974. Then rum-cream liqueur RumChata came along in 2009, and gave the category a Latin flavor and it hasn’t looked back since.
What is RumChata? Founded by former Beam executive Tom Maas and crafted with Caribbean rum, rice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and cream, Rumchata was the first liqueur in the U.S. inspired by horchata, a traditional Spanish beverage made with ground almonds, rice, cinnamon and other ingredients.
The flavor combination is familiar to many consumers, plus it simplifies drink making for bartenders. The taste of RumChata fans has been compared to the milk at the bottom of a dish after eating cereal—namely, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which is sometimes used as a garnish for RumChata cocktails. The savvy brand two years ago introduced exclusive branded cereal bowl shot glasses for bars to capitalize on this and other cereal-inspired shooters.