A relatively unknown yet widely used liqueur in the drinks industry is the Swedish Xanté. Xanté is a pear liqueur that is blended using pear extracts and cognac to produce a rather stunning, as well as versatile spirit. But if its so versatile, how come we very rarely see it in the market?
My research concludes that Xanté is a premium liqueur created by Richard Heinrich, a master blender at Maison Heinrich Liquoristerie Artisanale, in 1995 and it is blended with cognac from the Distillerie des Moisans in Sireul. Conceived using cognacs matured in barrels made from French Oak as well as sweet pears, it contains only natural ingredients, with its maturing process results in natural sweetening.
So how does a blend of cognac and pear fare? Well below, i give to you my tasting notes –
Xanté – 38%
Strong, fresh pear aromas on the nose with a sweeter pear flavour introduced onto the palate. Slight Cognac flavours come through slowly with a velvet texture creating a mouth-watering sip. Very long.
Tradition goes that you can easily enjoy Xanté neat or over ice, but perhaps try this instead –
Xanté Frozen Berries
40 ml Xanté
40 ml Fresh, frozen or puréed strawberries
40 ml fresh lemon juice
Blend Xanté, strawberries and lemon juice. Add ice and blend until smooth and frothy. Add sugar for extra taste.
The best thing about a pear liqueur, it works fantastic with food –
Roasted Duck with Xanté Sauce
Ready in: 1 hour (if served with oven-baked root vegetables)
2 duck breast fillets
You will need a skillet with some dripping from cooking the duck.
1 dl or 0.4 cups Xanté liqueur
8 tablespoons brown sugar
1 dl or 0.4 cups dark balsamic vinaigrette
Serve with oven-baked root vegetables and lamb’s lettuce
Prepare the oven-baked root vegetables first and then the duck and sauce.
Preheat the oven to 125 degrees Celsius or 257 degrees Fahrenheit. Score the duck’s skin on the breast side at 3 mm or 0.1 inch intervals in a criss-cross pattern but do not cut into the flesh. Season the duck with salt and pepper. Put the duck breasts on a dry skillet skin side down. Heat the skillet and cook the duck for 3–4 minutes until the skin is brown. From time to time, pour off the excess fat. Flip and cook for a couple of minutes. Put the dripping in the skillet to one side for the sauce. Stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the duck, wrap the duck in aluminium foil and roast in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 50–55 degrees Celsius or 122–131 degrees Fahrenheit. This should take approximately 10–15 minutes. Let the meat sit in the foil for about 10 minutes. Slice the meat diagonally and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the sauce. Great garnishes include oven-baked root vegetables and salad.
Prepare the sauce while the duck is in the oven.
Place the liqueur and sugar in a skillet, bring to the boil and cook while stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened to a syrup-like consistency, a process that takes about 3–4 minutes. Add balsamic vinaigrette and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Serve together with the duck.
The longer you cook the sauce, the thicker it becomes. Once it cools, it will solidify. Serve the sauce while hot and runny.
Grab yourself a bottle, you may just surprise yourself with what you can do with this.
Check out the rest of the photos, taken at 24 Bar and Grill, via my Facebook page.
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