Liqueurs Get the Spotlight In DeKuyper's Latest Cocktail Competition

Dudley Delhagen, courtesy DeKuyper
Dudley Delhagen, courtesy DeKuyper

I unabashedly adore liqueurs. When made correctly, liqueurs capture unusual flavors and deliver them right to your cocktail. Although many classic and proprietary cocktails alike call on liqueurs as ingredients, it’s a rare day when the liqueur itself is the focus. However DeKuyper, the best-selling cordial maker on the American market, recently aimed to change that by hosting a nationwide cocktail competition centered around their products. Since September, contestants in the Dekuyper Bartender Challenge were enticed to create a signature DeKuyper cocktail, while fans voted.

First off, it’s interesting that DeKuyper asked fans to vote as opposed to industry professionals. In a way, this strategy is more useful for consumers, who presumably would like to recreate these cocktails at home. Liqueurs are great to have around the house when you want to make cocktails for your guests but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on ingredients. A clear spirit, some soda water, and a dash of liqueur and you have yourself a nice mixed drink. That being said, I’m sure voters also wanted something more interesting than what I just suggested. So the winning cocktail, created by Dudley Delhagen of New Jersey’s 10th Ave. Burrito, was no surprise.

The Smoked Blossom consists of Connemara Irish whiskey, John DeKuyper & Sons Fleur Elderflower Liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange bitters. Simple, attainable, but still more than gin & juice. Elderflower, perhaps made most ubiquitous by St. Germain, is a great example of a taste once heralded as exotic that we can now have at home. You can find the recipe for the Smoked Blossom below.

DeKuyper’s liqueurs range from tart to chocolatey. Even if you’re not a fan of sweetness, it’s always nice to have liqueurs on deck. Like I said, they make basic drinks a bit more exciting, and they’re fun to cook with. There are also bitter liqueurs, such as amaro, if that’s more your style. 

courtesy Dekuyper
courtesy Dekuyper

Go to your local liquor store and look around, you may just be enticed by something. For more information on DeKuyper and their line, check out their site. They also have some cocktail ideas for their products here.

The Smoked Blossom

Created by Dudley Delhagen, 2015 DeKuyper® Cocktail Master

Ingredients:

  • 1 part John DeKuyper & Sons™ Fleur Elderflower Liqueur
  • 2 parts Connemara® Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 part Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 part Simple Syrup
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

Method: Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.