This is the third part of our tour through the liqueurs currently available from broVo Spirits: the business of two young women (Erin Brophy and Mhari Voelsgen whose names combine in a kenning to make the name of the company) who cashed out their 401(k) accounts and burst on the scene with “single note botanical” spirits.
We’re told their spirits target the sophisticated cocktail crowd and tend to find their audience with women rather than men. It’s a new category, they say, very light on the sweetness and no glycerin. See our prior reviews with the Lemon Balm and the Rose Geranium.
BroVo Ginger Liqueur
Ginger is an herb with more tradition (and market competition) than broVo’s other flavors. It’s an herb most are familiar with. More importantly, ginger has a long tradition of being both a medicine and an aphrodisiac, two items of particular importance in our modern age and the latter being of especial importance to us. Ginger liqueurs tend to be spicy and used to punch up fruit-forward cocktails. We are familiar with ginger having tasted it many different settings as it grows in popularity.
Neat: we’re quite accustomed now to broVo products being designed for cocktails but it’s still worthwhile getting to know it all by itself, naked, in a glass. The nose is much sweeter and more floral than any other ginger spirit we’ve tried, which tend to be very much in-your-face. Tasting, we wouldn’t call it subtle but it’s still got the lithe quality that all broVo spirits seem to have and is a twinkle-toed compared to its competitors. Not at all spicy in a heat sense. A little ice improves it even more… perhaps not something to go out and purchase as a sipper but certainly the most shippable broVo we’ve had so far.
Ginger Pear Martini: one of our favorite cocktails is the Ginger Pear Martini, which uses pear nectar, vodka, and a ginger liqueur (often with a ginger sugar cube as garnish). Here, the ginger is just a little too subtle… these sorts of cocktails require a sharp punch to come through the nectar and the broVo is just a little too Gabrielle and not enough Xena. Good, very drinkable… but not remarkable.
Ginger Cocktail: the website suggests pairing with mint leaves, lemonade, and garnished with pickled ginger. We did everything but the mint. This is a winner. For a spirit typically designed for sophisticated cocktails, this is something that can be made by the jug and taken down to the beach, and drunk all day by all comers. Very accessible. Very good. The ginger adds a dash of spice and intrigue to the lemon that almost escapes notice but makes the whole much better. It’s like a good soundtrack on a movie. This was the best cocktail we tried and we feel folks would drink this nonstop.
Ginger and Coke: one trick we like to play with ginger-infused spirits is to take on the ubiquitous and rowdy Captain-and-coke crowd. People seem to like spice—often spiced rum—in their coke. Well, what about ginger in their coke? If the broVo can go toe toe with the Captain, then a world of possibilities open up. Well, we did it. We put this top-shelf, hand-crafted, organic liqueur in the chemical stew that is Coca-cola (and we’re sorry, Liquor Gods). This ended up not working out quite as well as we’d hoped. There’s not enough alcohol in it to give a punch and if you add rum to the mixture the ginger note gets lost. On its own, it’s a pleasant rum but not as good as premium spiced rums in Coke (though better than standard Captain Morgan). We’re sure broVo isn’t offended because their stuff probably isn’t designed for mixing with corn syrup sodas.
Ginger and RumChata: here’s one of our staff favorites. RumChata is one of the best cream liqueurs on the market (in our opinion) and we often serve it with a dusting of spice. What about a dusting of ginger? What if that “dusting” took the form of broVo liqueur? Mixing RumChata to broVo at about 3:1 was ridiculously good. We guess that a similar treatment with any cream liqueur would work nicely but with the cinnamon influenced RumChata, it added a touch of spice that made the whole thing just sickeningly, sinfully good.
Verdict: ginger’s a finicky mixer. In this case, it takes a particularly practiced hand to deal with the light and butterfly delicacy of the liqueur. It won’t work as an automatic replacement for ginger infused vodkas or more well-known, heavy-handed liqueurs. But mixed in the right proportions, it can lead to refreshing results.