Haut Maison is a local producer of liqueurs and infused spirits, founded in 2012 and acquired by Apéritif founder, James Le Gallez, in 2017. Their core range of Raspberry Liqueur, Damson Gin, Crème de Cassis, Coffee Liqueur and Horseradish Vodka are a staple of shop and bar shelves across the Channel Islands.
More recently, Haut Maison has branched out and started partnering with other local producers to create special edition flavours, the first of which is their Crème de Menthe, made with locally grown spearmint & peppermint from Fresh Guernsey Herbs.
Crème de Menthe is very much a relic of the 70s & 80s so it’s very surprising to see a producer re-introduce this flavour in 2018.
I have a number of flavours I want to create over the next year or two, using produce from other local suppliers. Haut Maison’s mantra is to use real ingredients for our flavours and given that Crème de Menthe is famously artificial, it seemed the perfect place to start. Siegi at Fresh Guernsey Herbs was very helpful and we were making our first batch less than an hour after picking.
James admits that green food colouring is the one additive used in the liqueur, “reluctantly I used food colouring in the final product. Crème de Menthe is famously a rich green colour, not something that can be achieved without colouring, and the finished product’s pale yellow hue was far from appealing!”.
Haut Maison’s Crème de Menthe is made with a mix of local peppermint and spearmint, a sprinkle of dried lemon peel and a touch of rose petal. It’s immediately obvious that real mint has been used, a much more subtle and fresh flavour than traditional Crème de Menthes found on shop shelves.
A brave move to make a Crème de Menthe in this day and age and even more brave to go in a completely different direction to the standard flavour. The finished product is far more subtle and floral, providing a real fresh mint flavour.
It’s ever so flavoursome by itself and very easy to drink and if you’re put off by the mouthwash-style taste of traditional Crème de Menthe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The intense green colour makes it perfect for adding a pop of colour to a dessert or a cocktail, but bear in mind this might not stand out as strongly as traditional Crème de Menthes in a cocktail, so a bit of tweaking might be in order.
Overall, a really enjoyable sipper perfectly suited as a digestif, that we’re confident will convert Crème de Menthe haters into loyal followers.