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This blog was supposed to be about Angostura orange bitters, the not-even-released-yet-in-the-States ingredient that's a staple of the original dry martini and seems set to change the cocktail world when it finally shows up. But then I realized that every single person who attended the recent Bar Show in London, where it is available, has already written about it (Robert Hess, who has the excellent blog The Spirit World, gave it a far more informed review then I ever could).
So it was a very happy coincidence that Jim Meehan, the superfantastic deputy editor of the F&W book Cocktails 2007, just brought in a great new product from The Macallan. Called Amber Liqueur, it's single malt scotch made with natural maple and pecan and it's sweet (but not too) and smooth with a nutty, sherry-like flavor. It will probably become the base of every great fall drink and probably dessert, too. They're already using it at Le Colonial in San Francisco in a cool drink called Amberjack that also includes Calvados and apple lambic (look for it in Cocktails 2008!). Amber Liqueur is rolling out right now—it's already available in San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Denver and Washington, D.C. and will be coming to the rest of the country soon. I suggest everyone go out and try it (according to Los Angeles's Beverage Warehouse, it's about $33 a bottle), as it's just become our new favorite thing at Food & Wine.