Lemon Verbena Liqueur is Rich with a Strong Kick

Sidetrack Distillery’s new liqueur is like summer in a glass
A.J. Rathbun  |   August 2014   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION

It makes sense that the most intriguing local product to hit liquor store shelves this year comes from the same folks who gave us Bete, the award-winning spirit distilled from beets. But as good as that earthy wonder is, Sidetrack Distillery’s lemon verbena liqueur tops it. Released after years of research and testing, this multilayered liqueur is made from flowering lemon verbena plants grown on the distiller’s farm in Kent. The flavor is rich, herbal, vegetal, citrusy and floral all at once, while offering a strong—but not overpowering—kick. Mirroring the Chartreuses (but at far less cost), this elixir should be savored solo over ice or neat, but it also delivers radiant results when subbed for that famous French liqueur in cocktails. The Bijou, for example, with 1 1/2 ounces gin, 3/4 ounce lemon verbena liqueur, 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth and a lemon twist is especially nice. The liqueur boasts a remarkable green hue, but one that changes in small ways from batch to batch because of the tricky nature of creating a product like this by hand. It should be available ($30, 375-ml bottle) at select area stores by September, but your best bet is visiting the lovely distillery and getting it from the source. 27010 78th Ave. S, Kent; 206.963.5079; sidetrackdistillery.com

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