So, with the Raiders of the Lost Cocktail day coming up here soon, I figured I had to procure some apricot-flavored brandy. Unfortunately for me, Virginia's ABC doesn't carry any of the "good" stuff, and I couldn't find any in DC, either. So while down at Schneider's, I picked up a bottle of DeKuyper apricot flavored brandy, and when back in Virginia, I bought a bottle of Jacquin's.
And, as I mentioned earlier here in the Den, I also put some apricots into some E&J VSOP brandy and let them soak.
Thus last night I taste-tested. I went in reverse order of alcohol content - the DeKuyper (33%), Jacquin's (35%), and then the E&J (40%). I tasted each with a single ice cube that I let melt into the brandy.
The DeKuyper was more like an apricot-flavored syrup. I'd almost say it was cloyingly-slash-sticky sweet, but that might also be that I'm not the biggest apricot fan in the world. Either way, I'd liken it maybe more towards a schnapps of some sort than a brandy, but hey, maybe that's what you're looking for in an apricot brandy.
The Jacquin's was by far the worst of the batch. It had a definitive apricot taste to it, but that was battered around in the mouth by what tasted like raw alcohol. I'm guessing it's just the cheap, cheap brandy used, and it seemed like to me that with a better brandy the combination might've actually been quite tasty.
Finally, my homemade kind basically tasted like, well, brandy. There was a subtle hint of apricot in the background, but nothing like the others.
So which one will I use? Honestly, I'm leaning between the DeKuyper and my homemade kind. The problem is that I don't know what a good apricot or apricot-flavored brandy should taste like. Note that difference, too: an apricot brandy would be made from apricots, while an apricot-flavored brandy is simply one with the flavor of them added. There's no Apry in our area as far as I can tell.
But I'll quote from The Cocktail Chronicles:
Wha? Yes, apricot brandy (or, more accurately, apricot liqueur) – a stroll through most any vintage cocktail manual will turn up a number of drinks that called for a touch of apricot, typically provided by a sweetened, apricot-flavored grape brandy that gives drinks a sweet, fruity touch. Less typical are drinks calling for a “true” apricot brandy (aka eau de vie, or barack palinka), so for the sake of this exercise, let’s stick with the sweet stuff.
In all odds I'll stick to the DeKuyper because that sounds more like what they're looking for in this competition. But it'll also, I guess, depend on the recipe.
Hey tmfiii- want a bottle of Jacquin's?