Worth trying: Escubac

A heady revival of a forgotten liqueur

Escubac’s roots lie in Tudor England where it was created as a ‘cordial water’, a common type of libation distilled from macerated herbs and spices, akin to the modern-day aperitif or digestif. Originally called ‘usquebaugh’, it became known as escubac in France where it and other such cordial waters enjoyed widespread popularity.

The drink eventually fell from favour and was all but forgotten – although not entirely. After eighteen months of research and development, London-based distilling collective Sweetdram began producing a contemporary reimagining – not a revival – of the liqueur for the discerning modern palate.

Distilled in Saumur, France using rare Egrot alembics and aromatic botanicals including caraway, cardamom, nutmeg and citrus, sweetened with raisins and vanilla and coloured with saffron, Sweetdram’s Escubac is a veritable treat of a liqueur, brimming with spicy, fruity, festive notes. Drink it, as suggested on the bottle, with tonic and a lemon twist, or enjoy it neat.

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