Spirit Review and Recipe: Big O Ginger Liqueur
Liqueurs made from spicy ingredients can go south quickly, especially in today’s manufacturing climate, where producers often confuse might with right. When our tasting panel recently tasted Big O Ginger Liqueur, we were nervous we would have a hammer whacking Hot Damn like experience. Instead, we got a perfectly balanced and smooth warming drink perfect as a cocktail modifier.
Ginger and pie spice fill the nose, but the scent is not overwhelming. Medium-plus body, lots of ginger up front, but incredibly smooth, backed with clove, allspice, mace, and vanilla. Faint orange peel as well. Medium finish that ends with ginger and cinnamon. Sticky and thick like a liqueur should be but not especially sweet. It’s quite evident that care and thought went into the botanical mix.
After we taste a spirit and compare our initial notes, our tasting panel always asks what we think the best use of this spirit would be. For Big O, nearly everyone had written down “Ginger Old Fashioned” so we shouldn’t be surprised that is a prominent recipe on Bog O’s website and the one we included below. We would also recommend this in a hot toddy, or for equal parts bourbon in a variation of a Manhattan. It could also be a highball with soda or lemonade, used to up the ginger and booze in a Moscow Mule, or sub it for Amaretto in a sour. It is also perfect with really boozy brown spirit cocktails, as it takes the high proof edge off, if that’s your thing.
Spirit: Big O Ginger Liqueur
From: Big O, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
Rating: 95 pts
Recipe: Ginger Old Fashioned
Note: dial up or down the Big O or Bourbon based on which spirit you want to come through.
1 ounce Big O
1 ounce Bourbon (we used Evan Williams Bottled in Bond)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 large orange peels
Combine all the ingredient in a large glass filled with ice (express or very lightly muddle the orange peels first). Stir vigorously until chilled, strained in a double old-fashioned or coupe, garnish with flamed orange peel.