Roi René Rouge

On a recent episode of Top Chef James Beard Award winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini joined Gail Simmons and Padma Lakshmi as they put the cheftestants to the test of making a pie. Seems reasonable, it’s stone fruit season. Yet, not one of them reached for the cherries.

Had they had a bottle of Combier’s Roi René Rouge Cherry Liqueur ( in their pantry for inspiration this may have been a whole different sort of competition. The exquisite cherry fruit that makes up this liqueur (a blend of Guignes and Morello cherries) is spiked through with a hint of pepper creating an intense, rich flavor that lingers on the palate and warms the lips.

We love the layered depth this liqueur offers, and it works equally well in cocktails or sipped neat. We’re told it’s made with 100% natural ingredient; no artificial essences or dyes. And it seems that the original recipe was created by a nun in 1632 and that the product hasn’t changed since. As their advertising says, “How much more pure can you get?”

Rouge Ryder
Brandon Josie, 15 Romolo

1oz Combier Roi Rene Rouge
.75oz Rittenhouse 100
.5oz Carpano Antica
.5oz Lemon
.5oz Tangerine Rhubarb Gastrique

Gastrique: 5 lbs. tangerine juice, zest of 5 tangerines, 5lbs. chopped rhubarb, dry vermouth, champagne vinegar, cane sugar, Indonesian long pepper, grains of paradise, toasted coriander

Build in Collins. Top with soda water and ice. Garnish with lemon peel.