Few spirits were befouled in the name of industrial progress as much as the crème.
Originally, these liqueurs had a delicate sweetness and a creamy consistency, owing not to cream but to the addition of sugar. Then they became a much maligned, artificially flavored disaster.
Out to restore the reputation crèmes once had, Tempus Fugit has just released versions of Crème de Cacao and Crème de Menthe (each $29 for 750 ml), based on 19th-century recipes and using natural ingredients.
Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao is made by combining cacao beans with a neutral spirit in a still, then infusing the distillate with additional cacao and vanilla beans. The maceration deepens the flavor and gives the liqueur a light brown hue, with a floral, earthy aroma and a satisfying richness.
Whereas most producers make their Crème de Menthe with mint extract, Tempus Fugit's version is made with fresh peppermint and spearmint, rounded out with other botanicals. It is at once crisp and lush, the perfect addition to a mug of bittersweet hot chocolate.
To fully appreciate how delicious these reinvented liqueurs are, make a Grasshopper, the classic holiday cocktail that blends equal parts Crème de Menthe and Cacao with one part cream.
Tempus Fugit Spirits, tempusfugitspirits.com