A few week’s back I had the opportunity to experiment with an exciting, new-ish liqueur on the market, Sorel. Officially, only a little over a year old, this Brooklyn-made liqueur with intense notes of clove, nutmeg and ginger, has actually been in the works for over 15 years. Jackie Summers, the man behind this small batch, hibiscus-based liqueur, has been testing out the recipe that would eventually become Sorel on friends and family at parties and celebrations over the years, without any intention of ever bringing it to the masses. That is, until 2010 when he had a grim diagnosis after a golf-ball sized tumor was found inside his spine. Although the tumor was eventually removed and, thankfully, tested benign, Jack’s world, understandably, was flipped on its head. His fancy publishing career was pushed aside for one that mattered to him, and Sorel Liqueur and Jack From Brooklyn, the brand, was officially born.
We are all better off for this man’s life changing epiphany!
Not only was Jack extremely warm and charming upon first meeting him, I witnessed first hand how he is known for his charisma as well as his liqueur. Whether he was captivating a room full of ladies trying Sorel for the first time or inspiring a group of young men looking to be entrepreneurs themselves, there wasn’t one person that walked into Atlantic Cellars that didn’t get a little extra special Jackie Summers moment that night. He is a generous spirit and an AMAZING salesmen. Every bottle of the store’s Sorel inventory was sold out before the tasting was finished!
Inspired by his Caribbean roots, Sorel is made up of traditional flavors from the area – that’s where the hibiscus plant comes in – but with the addition of exotic spices from around the world. It is truly unusual but surprisingly versatile. And its lower alcohol content makes it a perfect addition to cocktails. The flavors may bring to mind fall and winter type drinks but I thought it was just lovely in this very simple and summery spiked lemonade:
Distribution for Sorel Liqueur is fast expanding outside of the Northeast. It’s already in Oregon and Illinois and Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana and Idaho are the newest states to be lucky enough to be getting this unique jewel toned liqueur. Check the website to see if you can locate a store near you.