So last week a bunch of the Birmingham bar and cocktail scene got together to meet up and enjoy drinks at Veranda. Probably one of the coolest things that happened though was Cathead showing up with a sample of their new liqueur called Hoodoo. Hoodoo is a Chicory liqueur and to my knowledge just about the only one made. I know, I was kind of surprised to because it seems like such a perfect idea. You may remember Cathead from our articles on the first distillery in the state of Mississippi. If you don’t you can hear about there products, and recipes I’ve created HERE, and ALSO HERE.
So wait, hold up, what IS chicory aside from catnip to Martha Stewart? Well the short answer smart ass is that “It’s a good thing”. The longer answer is that chicory is a root that’s also a naturally caffeine free coffee substitute. It’s originally native to Northern Africa, Asia, and Europe where it became popular among medieval monks. The french who had a particular love for it likely brought it along to America in the 1700’s and it caught on in New Orleans during the Civil War. Ever since then it’s remained a popular additive in the big easy and a bit of exotica found right here at home. Chicory is also associated with Vietnamese coffee preparation even though they don’t actually really use it in Vietnam to my knowledge. It is, I have heard, quite popular among Vietnamese Americans however.
So as you can see from some of it’s trappings and labeling we’ve got a lot of funk and Big easy style. It’s pretty Voodooed out and kinda damn metal for a product that’s only 20% alcohol. It has the aroma of fresh ground nuts and peanut shells with a dark brownish gold color. The taste is really balanced there’s a pleasant underlying sweetness that provides body but it’s never cloying. Though I’d call it a cordial it’s most certainly not in the realm of “to sweet”. I guess the best way to describe it is it’s less sweet than Domaine de Canton with just as much pop of flavor or more. The coolest part comes in the big chicory body that’s very drying and pleasant. It has a nuttiness reminiscent of the shells of fresh roasted walnuts and peanuts, very cool and pretty singular when it comes to the liqueur category.
I think there’s something unique here and it’s not often in the deep south you get to be one of the first to taste the debut of something so original. Personally even though it’s not an amaro, I could see plenty of bartenders thirsty for this around the country. I’ll be very eager to see what bars come up with after the roll out.
Naturally the first thing that comes to mind is using it to spike coffee’s, but I think it’s got more potential than that. Tiki fans will want to be on the lookout for Hoodoo to add a bit of exotic mystery to there fall and winter tipples. We give it two thumbs up and are looking forward to getting our hands on a bottle to play with. Hoodoo is being released this October at select locations around the southeastern United States, from Louisiana up around to Virginia. Follow their progress on Facebook here.
We’ll keep you posted, and You get hammered America! – JFL