Carlos Irizarry & 1937 – One of Heering´s 200 year

Words by: Theodora Sutcliffe

In 1937, Rafael Hernández Marín, Puerto Rico’s most famous songwriter, wrote a bolero song that travelled around the world. Its name? Preciosa, or “Precious”.

“I see this song as a great representation of our culture in that year,” says Carlos Irizarry, general manager of La Factoría, the Caribbean island’s first (and foremost) artisan cocktail bar. “He crafted a cultural expression that became a statement of our love and pride for Puerto Rico: a song of hope and strength through hard times, and a celebration of its beauty and tenderness.”

While Irizarry cut his bartending chops at Havana Central, a Times Square Cuban joint, home is where his heart is. Under his tenure, La Factoría, a shabby-chic spot in the heart of San Juan’s Old Town, has risen to a level that stands far above the island’s tourist-industrial complex. It holds Puerto Rico’s only spot on the coveted World’s 50 Best Bars list and has blazed a trail for others to follow.

Which isn’t to say that Puerto Rico has zero cocktail heritage. In 1954, Ramon “Monchito” Marrero invented the Piña Colada at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan. Over six decades later the drink remains ubiquitous islandwide. “It’s funny how a cocktail that’s been created in the context of a hotel and a tropical vacation has a different meaning for Puerto Ricans,” Irizarry says, recalling how his father used to treat him to Piña Coladas at basketball games as a kid. “It’s what my mother would make whenever there’s a Christmas party or another big event: you can find a Piña Colada almost everywhere in Puerto Rico.”

Irizarry’s Preciosa cocktail, while based on Puerto Rican rum, is a long way from tropical clichés or Tiki stylings. “Café, ron y cherries: this is the taste of my island,” he says. “I tried to evoke some Puerto Rican flavours and combine them with the sophisticated palate of European cocktail culture at that time.”

1937 was, Irizarry explains, a bad year for Puerto Rico, as it grappled with the Great Depression – Marín wrote a song which translates as “Puerto Rico’s Lament” that year – yet the island found strength through trauma. Today, after the devastation of the 2017 hurricane, Puerto Rico is demonstrating its resilience once again.

“It’s very interesting what is going on: I think we have been put through a very high challenge, which I don’t understand as 100% negative,” Irizarry says. “Obviously it has been devastating in a lot of ways, but it has been a blessing in some ways. The position of finding ourselves completely unmasked by the forces of nature is an opportunity to reveal who we truly are.”

That’s not to say Hurricane Maria passed Irizarry by. He and his girlfriend watched in terror from their apartment, wondering whether their reinforced glass windows would hold against the storm. Four months later, his mother, like many Puerto Ricans outside the capital, is still living without power.

The US response to the disaster has been widely criticised but, says Irizarry, Puerto Ricans helped one another. “The response and the aid came from the people: people took care of each other, no waiting for the government, and I felt very safe,” he says. “I was part of a very strong industry group – we opened up places for people to eat, places for people to get together or charge their phones.”

Experiencing climate change in action has shown Irizarry how very important sustainability is in the bar industry. Yet Maria shaped his professional life in more ways than that. “There was no power in all of Old San Juan for two months, so we needed to figure out a way to preserve what we had: the fruits, the vegetables, the ingredients and produce,” he says. “At the same time, we couldn’t open for business: they make a dry law when these situations happen.”

More devastatingly, as life, at least in San Juan, began to return to normal, longer-term impacts are emerging. Some of La Factoría’s staff joined the hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans who have fled to the US, a massive loss to an island home to under 4,000,000 people. Tourism, a major economic driver here as for other Caribbean islands, has been decimated.

Yet, as he prepares for the fiesta of San Sebastián, Irizarry’s Puerto Rican positivity and passion shines through. It’s a spirit Marín would have recognised.

“The message of the song is that you are beautiful and you are strong and you will persist even though you are in pain, and that song is very powerful because of that,” says Irizarry. “And I see a mirroring with the situation that’s going on right now: although there’s a struggle, there’s a very hopeful side, a very hopeful mindset to work with all these challenges.”

Preciosa Cocktail

1.5oz Don Q Gran Añejo Rum

1/2oz Barrilito Rum

1/2oz lima/limon (50/50 lime-lemon juice)

1/2oz simple syrup

3/4oz Cherry Heering

1/4oz Campari

3 dash Angostura Bitters

1 drop Baraka Puerto Rican coffee tincture
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled glass

Glass: Coupe

Garnish: with crushed coffee beans on half of the cocktail

 

101 Best New Cocktails: Bittersweet Symphony Cocktail by Mariano Garcia Ibañez , Banker`s Bar, Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona on gazregan.com

Bittersweet Symphony Cocktail

Adapted from a recipe by Mariano Garcia Ibañez , Banker`s Bar, Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona.

“As the cocktail was made for “Angostura cocktail challenge 2013″ i wanted to find a way for using the bitters in a considerable quantity, so the mixture with the sweetness of the Cherry Heering and the spices syrup was the key. Some sour added with the lemon juice and the main personality by the hand of the Caribbean rum. Why is it called “bittersweet symphony?” i could say because that name fits with the flavours, but it’s basically because i love that song 😉 ” Mariano Garcia Ibañez.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Angostura 1919 RumBittersweet Symphony

30 ml (1 oz) Cherry Heering

30 ml (1 oz) lemon juice

25 ml (.85 oz) cinnamon syrup

15 ml (.5 oz) white and red pepper syrup

24 dashes (.5 oz) Angostura bitters

1 cinnamon stick, as garnish

1 Manhattan-infused cherry, as garnish

freshly grated nutmeg, as garnish

Shake over ice and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Add the garnishes.

Cinnamon Syrup

1 liter (34 oz) water

1 kg (2.2 lbs) sugar

8 to 10 cinnamon sticks (depending on size and quality)

Combine the ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from the heat, allow to cool, and store in the refrigerator.

White And Red Pepper Syrup

1 liter (34 oz) water

1 kg (2.2 lbs) sugar

70 grams (2.5 oz) red peppercorns

30 grams (1 oz) white peppercorns

Combine the ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from the heat, allow to cool, and store in the refrigerator.

gaz sez: How can you go wrong when you throw half-an-ounce of Angostura in there? Seriously, though, it’s Mariano’s White and Red Pepper Syrup that pulls everything together in this baby. It’s an inspired touch. Try it. You’ll like it.

Coffee Heering Rating by diffordsguide.com

WeSay…

alc./vol. (70° proof)
35%

Bin no

BWS000048

Vintage

Non-vintage

Aged

Unaged

Closure

Natural cork stopper

diffordsguide

rating

Launched in 2007, this is a line extension to Cherry Heering Liqueur is a blend of Caribbean rum flavoured with an infusion of coffee and cacao beans. Coffee Heering is Kosher certified by Orthodox Union

Don’t Miss These Two Kosher Liquors for Your Purim Seudah and Gourmet Mishloach Manot!

www.thejewishhostess.com

Dear Hostesses,

Even though this is a sponsored post, I have to honestly tell you that the instant I opened up my bottle of Heering  Coffee Liquor, I closed my eyes and felt like I was in coffee heaven.  The pure aroma of this sweet liquor made me want to swirl a drop of  heavy cream into this perfect blend of Caribbean rum with coffee and cocoa. Throw in a couple of ice cubes and I’m almost  relaxing on a beach in St Barths. Who cares if I didn’t make my hammentashen yet? My packed carry-on is at the front door!

Another not-to-be-missed fabulous liquor by the Heering family is their fruity Cherry liquor!

Nestle a basket of fresh cherries in with this classy bottle and you’ve got one impressive Mishloach Manot!

One recipe to try from this cocktail inspired  blog Through The Liquor Glass:

Coffee Heering on Huffingtonpost.com

Tony Sachs; MY TOP TEN NEWLY-INTRODUCED SPIRITS OF 2010 (meaning spirits that were first made widely available in the USA in 2010

HEERING COFFEE LIQUEUR. I haven’t seen much written about this new product from the folks who brought us the venerable Cherry Heering (an essential ingredient in the Singapore Sling), and the reviews I have seen are generally lukewarm. It doesn’t taste much like coffee — my wife had no idea it even contained coffee when she tasted it blind. But boy oh boy, is it delicious. An alchemy of dark Caribbean rums, cacao and coffee beans, it’s velvety smooth, rich, and sweet with a bitter edge. It’s great on its own as an after-dinner drink and makes a mean alcoholic milkshake, too. And it’s miles ahead of Kahlua (the only coffee liqueur most people have tried), which tastes syrupy and one-dimensional by comparison.

Comments from a fan;
“Managed to hold of a bottle of newly launched Heering Coffee Liqueur yesterday. I confess to being a bit of a fan of Cherry Heering, but what about coffee? I often find line extensions disappoint­ing, but I must say they pulled it off. Heering Coffee was nothing short of delicious. The flavor is very potent and I liked it being high proof. Is it the best coffee liqueur on the market? Don’t know, haven’t tried them all. But I can tell you it is miles ahead of the standards like Kahlua and Tia Maria. Patron Café is really good, but choosing between the two I’d go for Heering which is rum based (I’m not a huge tequila fan). ”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-sachs/ten-for-10-my-favorite-ne_b_802234.html#comments

Coffee Heering on The Huffington Post

Heering Coffee Liqueur

HEERING COFFEE LIQUEUR. I haven’t seen much written about this new product from the folks who brought us the venerable Cherry Heering (an essential ingredient in the Singapore Sling), and the reviews I have seen are generally lukewarm. It doesn’t taste much like coffee — my wife had no idea it even contained coffee when she tasted it blind. But boy oh boy, is it delicious. An alchemy of dark Caribbean rums, cacao and coffee beans, it’s velvety smooth, rich, and sweet with a bitter edge. It’s great on its own as an after-dinner drink and makes a mean alcoholic milkshake, too. And it’s miles ahead of Kahlua (the only coffee liqueur most people have tried), which tastes syrupy and one-dimensional by comparison. (If you’re looking for a more intense coffee experience, try Galliano Ristretto, an espresso-based liqueur.)

Coffee Heering on on-line-free.com

http://www.on-line-free.com/food-network-recipes-bbc-channel-4/tony-sachs-ten-for-10-my-favorite-new-spirits-of-the-year/

Tony Sachs: Ten For ’10: My Favorite New Spirits Of The Year
8. HEERING COFFEE LIQUEUR. I haven’t seen much written about this new product from the folks who brought us the venerable Cherry Heering (an essential ingredient in the Singapore Sling), and the reviews I have seen are generally lukewarm. It doesn’t taste much like coffee — my wife had no idea it even contained coffee when she tasted it blind. But boy oh boy, is it delicious. An alchemy of dark Caribbean rums, cacao and coffee beans, it’s velvety smooth, rich, and sweet with a bitter edge. It’s great on its own as an after-dinner drink and makes a mean alcoholic milkshake, too. And it’s miles ahead of Kahlua (the only coffee liqueur most people have tried), which tastes syrupy and one-dimensional by comparison. (If you’re looking for a more intense coffee experience, try Galliano Ristretto, an espresso-based liqueur.)

Peter F. Heering introduces new HEERING COFFEE liqueur

Peter F. Heering, owner of the original Danish Heering Cherry liqueur dating back to 1818, is now introducing a Heering line extension; Heering Coffee.

Heering Coffee is made from a recipe using only natural ingredients and with no additives or artificial colouring. The base is a smooth blend of Caribbean rum, coffee and cacao. Heering Coffee liqueur can be enjoyed after dinner as a digestive but it is also excellent as a base for cocktails and long drinks.

The Peter F. Heering brand has a long tradition of serving royalties. The Heering Cherry liqueur has been purveyor to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and to the Royal Danish Court since 1876. Further, one of the world’s most famous cocktails, the Singapore Sling, is made with Heering Cherry Liqueur. The Heering Cherry liqueur is today present in more than 100 markets and is immensely popular and known as the original “cherry brandy”.

The Heering Coffee liqueur will be introduced for the first time on the world market during the UK Bar Show in June 2007. Responsible distributor for Coffee Heering in UK will be Amathus, today also distributing the Heering Cherry liqueur. Starting this summer, Heering Coffee liqueur will tour the world markets, hopefully reaching presence in the 100 markets of Heering Cherry liqueur in a near future.

The company behind Heering Cherry and Coffee liqueur, namely Peter F. Heering is owned by the same private investors who are the creators of The Xanté Company, producing the popular pear and cognac liqueur “Xanté”. Xanté was first introduced on the Swedish market approximately 10 years ago and the product has since then developed into a success story. Today the brand is the fastest growing brand, by percentage, in GTR.

For more information about Heering Coffee Liqueur and for drink inspiration, please visit the Heering website: www.heering.com. For further information and enquiries about the brand, please contact Adéle Nilsson, CEO of Peter F. Heering, adele@ heering.com or +46 8 412 60 40. For more information regarding Amathus, please visit www.amathuswines.co.uk

Legal Notice   |   Log in to graphic guideline