Berentzen is a 200-year-old German liquor company that has recently (2013) begun packaging and distributing their products to the United States. I’ve had the opportunity to try two of their liquors: IceMint Schnapps* and Bushel and Barrel, an apple/whiskey liqueur.
Apple whiskey is probably the next big thing in flavorings, now that the cinnamon and honey whiskeys have been on the market a while. Even big boy Crown Royal has released their Regal Apple flavor in the last few months, too.
On a recent episode of the Simple Cocktails podcast, Lisa and I tried Bushel and Barrel for the first time. It’s certainly sweet, but not sticky or syrupy. It’s flavored and partially sweetened with apple juice, and as I discovered with Midnight Moon, that gives you apple flavor and sweetness without a whole lot of sticky-sugary mess. It’s 30% alcohol, which places it squarely in the middle of straight whiskey and liqueurs, and it’s definitely drinkable straight. In fact, it’s whiskeys like this that are pretty great flask-fillers for camping or game day.
Another important tasting note about Bushel and Barrel is that it’s base is actual Kentucky Bourbon, so there’s quite a bit more wonderful whiskey character to this drink than, say, apple pie moonshines.
This is a pretty flexible cocktail ingredient, and other than a simple Bushel and Barrel and Ginger Ale (or Coke), splash it in your favorite bourbon too (1 part Bushel to 2 parts bourbon maybe) just to change the flavor profile or tame the bite a bit. Overall, this is an enjoyable liqueur at about $20 a bottle, a decent addition to your home bar.
*I made two cocktails this holiday season with IceMint, a Fire-and-Ice Hot Cocoa at the Burn Blog and the Hope for Snow cocktail for NewsCastic.