Nothing if not a unique spirit, Esprit de June is crafted from the vine flowers of a variety of grapes, primarily Ugni Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The French company would love for you to believe that the flowers on each grapevine contribute different flavor characteristics to the liqueur, but with something this sweet, picking out nuance is a fool’s errand at best.
The nose is incredibly sweet, marshmallow and burnt sugar notes, with strawberry candy on the side. The body kicks in with more strawberry and cherry fruit, not quite medicinal but definitely candy-coated. The finish coats your mouth and leaves a lingering aftertaste — and here you can almost get a sense of wine, or at least wine grapes. Not much of it, though: Ultimately Esprit de June has all the dazzle of a Jolly Rancher. Surprisingly, there’s very little floral character here, which is odd for something made out of flowers.
At 56 proof it’s relatively easy on the alcohol, but you’ll have to use it in moderation — as a sweetener, probably, where I could see this working out OK — unless you want to kill off everything else in your cocktail.
Brought to you by the same people who make the top-notch (but hard to find) G’Vine gin.
B- / $28 / juneliqueur.com