The House of Berentzen has been around for a cool 256 years, and they’re one of Germany’s oldest spirit companies. Today they produce a range of products, including three liqueurs that are available stateside — Berentzen Apple Liqueur, Pear Liqueur and Wild Cherry Liqueur. And while these don’t seem like a natural fit for our regular wheelhouse, you’ve got to appreciate the brand’s staying power, as well as their use of actual fruit in their products — many liqueur producers opt for mere flavoring extracts.
Berentzen Apple Liqueur’s wheat spirit base is blended with sun-ripened apples and then sweetened. On the nose, it’s full of candied apple, more akin to a Jolly Rancher than something fresh. Take a sip, and you’ll get more of the same, but it’s not overwhelmingly sweet. The apple flavor is mostly pleasant, and it doesn’t come with the artificial and near medicinal taste you’ll find in certain schnapps and even some apple-flavored vodkas.
Of course, you could consume this chilled or on the rocks, as the bottle suggests. But the real use here lies in cocktails. With its prominent apple flavor, try adding Berentzen to complementary spirits like Irish Whiskey or Cognac. Lemon juice will help to cut the sweetness and balance things out, and a little ginger beer on top won’t hurt.
There are plenty of apple-flavored products on the market, from brandies and whiskeys to other liqueurs, but if you’re looking for something simply apple, Berentzen Apple Liqueur is a solid place to start.
– 20% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★