Review of FAIR. Café and Goji Liqueurs, served with a vegan twist
Hello! How’s life treating you? Ready for a drink, you say?
Well, I don’t blame you. This January has been more hectic and more stressful than usual, and a drink or two is definitely in order…
It’s time for a review of two liqueurs from FAIR., a brand of the company Ethical Wine & Spirits, namely their Goji liqueur and their Café liqueur. These are made from Fairtrade ingredients, and, unlike many other alcoholic drinks they’re vegan too, which is a bonus for anyone who’s doing Veganuary or generally off the animal products.
By the way, non-vegan ingredients you might find in booze, include:
- Albumin from egg whites
- Casein from milk
- Chitin from crab shells
- Gelatine from bones of cows or pigs
- Isinglass from fish bladders
Not surprising some people might like to avoid those in their tipples. It’s a time of year when we tend to scrutinise what goes into our food, so why not drinks as well, eh? If you’d like to look at some other nice vegan-friendly drinks, check out the Veganuary section at 31Dover.com, it’s surprising what’s vegan and what isn’t (warning: includes some amazing-looking gourmet gins).
FAIR. Goji Liqueur review
So now, on to the reviews. Let’s start with the Goji Liqueur, £15.95, which is made with fairly traded Goji berries and cane sugar. This was Beau’s favourite out of the two, and I think it’s definitely a unique flavour that would lend itself to making cocktails. It’s quite sweet, with a bitter, almost medicinal aftertaste and a fruity flavour. The main fruit note is cherries, but there’s also some notes of pomegranate, raspberry and plum in there too.
I think it would be most useful for adding plenty of complexity to a mixed drink. In particular I’d add a splash of it to drinks where you might traditionally use non-alcoholic grenadine cordial.
For example, you could make a slightly alcoholic version of a Shirley Temple by adding a splash to ginger ale, then serving over ice with some maraschino cherries. It’d also make a good riff on the tequila sunrise in a tall glass, with orange juice, tequila, a squeeze of lime and a dash of sparkling water or lemonade.
The drink I’m going to try it in next will be a fruity take on the Old Fashioned. I’ll add half a shot to a double bourbon and muddle with orange peel, omitting the usual sugar and Angostura bitters, finally serving with a Luxardo cherry and a dash of soda water over chunky ice cubes.
FAIR. Café Liqueur review
Next, it was time for the Café Liqueur, £17.95. This was my favourite one, slightly sweet but not syrupy, and with a soft and complex coffee flavour that also had notes of chocolate. This is one that you can drink on its own very easily if you’d like to sip it chilled from a small glass.
It would also be great in any drinks recipe that called for coffee or Kahlua. I tried making a version of the Turbo G&T, which is currently the drink du jour in certain establishments, and it turned out beautifully even though it sounds like a very strange idea. This is usually made with a slug of cold brew coffee and a gin and tonic, but I made mine with the Café liqueur and a non alcoholic G&T (try Seedlip and Fever-tree tonic, or the Co-op’s new non-alcoholic juniper-flavoured tonic water).
I also mixed it with Bob’s Chocolate Bitters, vanilla Spice Drops, crushed ice and almond milk to make a vegan hard shake, which turned out to be very easy drinking indeed, and could happily be served with pancakes or pastries at a slightly boozy brunch. You could easily turn that into a dessert cocktail by laying off the crushed ice, cutting back half of the almond milk and adding some extra vodka, rum or brandy.
The two classic cocktails this would be ideal in would be a Black Russian (cola, vodka, coffee liqueur) and an Espresso Martini. I like the original 80s retro Dick Bradsell Vodka Espresso recipe best, with vodka, coffee liqueur and fresh espresso shaken over lots of ice, strained into a martini glass. Mmmmm, retox time.
A bit more about FAIR.
FAIR. was launched in 2009, starting with FAIR. Vodka, the first Fairtrade certified vodka. Since then, FAIR. has developed several Fairtrade certified spirits including Rum, Gin, Café Liqueur, Goji Liqueur and Kumquat Liqueur. FAIR. Açaï Liqueur has just hit the market and there are rumours that a FAIR. Cacao Liqueur is being developed.
Have you ever tried FAIR. drinks before? Would you be interested in trying a superfoods cocktail, or Fairtrade or vegan booze? Let us know.
Full disclosure: Drink samples kindly provided by 31Dover.com for testing. All thoughts and comments my own, there has been no editorial interference.