Tasting Video #15

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It’s not blueberry, it’s BLUESberry. And it’s about the last thing you’d expect Sother Teague (notorious lover of bitter things and beverage director of Amor y Amargo) to cheerfully taste with me. But that’s why it was so much fun to taste Bottle #29: DeKuyper Bluesberry Schnapps with him.

Prefer to read than watch? Check out the transcript under the video.

TRANSCRIPT

Teaser

Tammy: DeKuyper original Bluesberry Schnapps. They didn’t steal this from anybody. It is the original. And it’s bluesberry.

Sother: That’s what I was going to ask. Why is it blues? Is it going make me sad?

After Opening

Tammy: So you said you’re up for anything. Are you up DeKuyper Bluesberry Schnapps?

Sother: I subscribe to the Hemingway method of operating my life, which is to say, always do sober what you promised while drunk. People don’t know the second half of that statement is “that’ll teach you to keep your damn mouth shut,” which I’ve yet to learn. So yeah, I said I’m up for anything, so I’m up for anything. Let’s go.

Tammy: All right. Tammy: Well, hello and welcome to My Tiny Bottles, the project where I’m exploring my grandmother’s legacy of miniature liquor bottles, one tiny bottle a lot of time. And I’m back with Sother to taste DeKuyper Original Bluesberry Schnapps.

Tammy: They didn’t steal this from anybody. It is the original. And it’s bluesberry.

Sother: That’s what I was going to ask. Why is it blues? Is it going make me sad?

Tammy: It is going to make you sad.

Tammy: It’s because their advertising campaign was about “de birth of de blues.”

Sother: Okay?

Tammy: They had a whole advertising campaign in the 80s and 90s where it was like DeKuyper puns basically. So everything was “De” something and so this was “De birth of de blues” And I really had hoped that it was like a tie-in to the Blues Brothers movie but the timing doesn’t work out, it didn’t come out at the right time.

Sother: Also it’s not really in concert with the timing of blues.

Tammy: No, not at all.

Sother: Or Picasso’s blue period.

Tammy: Nope.

Tammy: So this is like, it’s got a government warning label on it so in 1989 or later. Probably this product is released in the late 80s. So this might be early 90s.

Sother: Late 80s/early 90s. One dollar.

Tammy: One dollar! Which is probably also what it would cost today? Maybe 79 cents today.

Tammy: They do still make a blueberry schnapps now, but it’s not a bluesberry schnapps.

Tammy: So, half empty plastic bottle, that’s what happens with these plastic ones. We’ve had, I would like to say we’ve had mixed reviews on the schnapps so far, but no, they’ve all been pretty bad.

Sother: Okay. Let’s key it up. See what happens. Cracking the seal, I hear it. So, it was sealed but not hermetically and that’s why we lose such volume.

Tammy: These are clean glasses. We don’t want to mix this what we had last time.

(pouring)

Tammy: I was surprised this was clear. I tasted Seagrams Cherry Cola Schnapps with Camper English and that one was opaque.

Tammy: This one is definitely as syrupy as that one was.

Sother: Yes, quite rich and thick.

Tammy: Right, with the evaporation.

Sother: Sugar doesn’t evaporate.

Tammy: (after pouring) Smells like blueberry. (actually smelling) Oh, but now this smells dusty.

Sother: It does. It immediately smelled like blueberry and then it kind of has a smell of like blueberry bread or muffin.

Tammy: Yes! When I had it over here I was like “ooh, that smells like blueberry.” And then when I got it really close, it just smells like old liqueur. But I think you’re right, there’s a middle ground where it is a blueberry muffin for sure.

Sother: Bread-y. Alright, are you braving it? Let’s get the blues.

Tammy: It’s De Blues.

Clink glasses and taste

Sother: That is way out of my wheelhouse. You’re at Amor y Amargo, where we specialize in bitters.

Tammy: This is the opposite of a bitter thing.

Sother: Holy cow. So intensely sweet, very mouth coatingly thick, not a lot of blueberry coming through, but some fruitiness.

Tammy: Fruity yep

Sother: But if I was blind tasting, I don’t think my first guess would be blueberries.

Tammy: I mean, blueberries are kind of, you know, what tastes like blueberries when you buy it? I mean, even when you buy blueberry muffins, half the time they’re like sodium alginate blueberry formed things, they’re not actual blueberries. I think blueberry is one of those flavors that’s really hard to capture. I mean, I had some blueberries recently that tasted like blueberries and I was kind of shocked.

Sother: Right. On second approach, it’s got like a little bit of acidity.

Tammy: Mmm, hmmm. Definitely.

Sother: It’s making my, you know, salivary glands kick in.

Sother. I don’t think this is their intended goal. Maybe, you know, obviously the intended goal was achieved in the late eighties early nineties, is that what you said?

Tammy: Yeah

Sother: But it is it has slipped away. It has slipped the surly bonds of earth.

Tammy: Like, I don’t actually know. Do we think it tasted better then or did people just have lower standards?

Sother: Well, again, because of evaporation and you know sort of decay… Because what happens… I don’t know if you’re going to discover in your journey any amari in your boxes…

Tammy: I really hope so.

Sother: I’d be happy to see them. But I’ll give you my kind of up-front opinion now. Old amari, they suck. They’re meant to be drunk as they are and the age that gets put on them if they get neglected or forgotten, what happens is any sweetener that’s in there, which they all have sweetener, any sweetener kind of just like this one…

Tammy: Concentrates?

Sother: It sort of falls away though.

Tammy: Oh, interesting.

Sother: And the things that stand forward are all the bittering agents. So suddenly you’ve got this thing that’s far out of balance. I always liken it to… Like there’s particulate matter that still remains in all amari. We can’t filter them clean enough, right, so that’s still being extracted. So it’s like leaving the tea bag for days in your cup. It’s going to be quite extracted.

Sother: Now this process happens very slowly. You find a bottle of Cynar from 10 years ago, it’s probably gonna be pretty good. 20 years ago still okay. But when you start into that 35-40 year bottles, they just don’t taste great.

Tammy: I tasted Amaro Montenegro from I want to say the 50s or the 70s? Something like that but some age on it, and it was really interesting because it was like different flower. It was intensely floral, but I was going to say like the modern one smelled like lavender and the original one smelled like rose. It was something like that. I can’t remember the difference, but it was like it was very floral but an entirely different flower which I thought was really interesting.

Sother: Yeah, again some things fall away and some things remain, alcohol continues to extract. Something like this (pointing to schnapps), this would also reduce at the same time. Again, on the third sip and even following….

Tammy: Oh look, you took three sips, you’re brave, you’re very brave.

Sother: On the third sip and following that with a little bit of water to kind of like open it up a bit on my palate.

Tammy: I can pour you some extra so you can add some water right in.

Sother: Yeah, I do get more blueberries with the water.

Tammy: Okay.

Sother: But it’s you know, if you handed me this and said this is a blueberry thing? It’s not.

Sother: So, you said you had some previous failures with the schnapps?

Tammy: Yeah, I’ve tasted cherry cola schnapps from the 1980s with Camper English, really really not good. Fred Yarm and I tasted Hot Shot Tropical Schnapps from the 80s and a Mr. Boston Peppermint Schnapps. And the interesting thing about the Mr. Boston is that it completely lost its nose. Like you would expect a big hit of mint. This (pointing at Blusesberry) has quite a lot of volatiles still. The Mr. Boston, they had all disappeared.

Tammy: Now it tasted like toothpaste, but it definitely didn’t smell like it.

Sother: Tasted like toothpaste. Got it. Was that their goal?

Tammy: Yeah, you know, what is the goal of Peppermint schnapps, to be honest? Alright, I’m gonna try your water trick, see what I think.

Sother: I added a little water to the very last bit here, but just in my mouth…

Tammy: I poured myself extra because of you.

Sother: It’s because of your grandma. Hey, what’s your Grandma’s name?

Tammy: My grandma’s name is Margaret. Everybody called her Marg.

Sother: Here’s to Marg. (toasting)

Tammy: You’re right, it is better with of water.

Sother: Right, because we’re weakening it back out to where it was supposed to be.

Tammy: Right, so the sugars drop – the sugars are extending. So if we added a little vodka to it or something like that, right? That would probably actually get us closer.

Sother: Yeah.

Tammy: You probably have no vodka in this bar.

Sother: We do not.

Tammy: That would be ridiculous.

Sother: It wouldn’t be ridiculous. Just wouldn’t fit. I love vodka. People think I don’t because I don’t have it at the bar, but I always have a bottle in my freezer because I just drink it, right? Famous Japanese bartender Kazuo Uyeda said “Vodka is a celebration of the mixer.” And for me, the mixer is food.

Sother: I want rocket cold vodka that I do not dilute, right out of my freezer with some salty potato chips and sour cream and onion dips,

Tammy: Caviar?

Sother: Some caviar, some fois gras, something, rich and fatty. Oysters, something lean and briny, you know, so like I want rocket cold vodka, on its own. So I just don’t mix with it so I don’t have it at the bar.

Tammy: Totally fair.

Tammy: Well, thank you for taking one for the team.

Sother: Sure. I’m happy to do it. And again, I know you’re exploring the box as you go. If you come across anything you think I might be interested, I’d be happy to do it again. But again, if you’re in town and you’re doing these again and you just have I’ll take what no one else takes.

Tammy: I would love to have you on again. So thank you so much. Tell people where they can find you?

Sother: I am @creativedrunk on all social media platforms. I also have a podcast called The Speakeasy on Heritage Radio Network. And I wrote a book. It’s called I’m Just Here for the Drinks. Check that out as well. So yeah, I’m following.

Tammy: All right, and you can find me at my tiny bottles.com, as well as @mytinybottles on all your social media. Check out the website for lots of pictures, podcasts, if you like to you like to listen to your content instead of watching it, and of course you can find it on YouTube. Thanks. Cheers.

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