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Esprit de June - Liqueur Review

Esprit de June, a liqueur made from neutral grape spirit infused with aromatic vine flowers

Month in Your Mouth

In most agricultural production, workers typically take the fruits and leave the rest. If the tree, bush or vine flowers, we happily enjoy the sight and scent of them, but we don't harvest them. The makers of Esprit de June, though, do harvest these delicate flowers, specifically vine flowers. The tiny blossoms bloom for only a few days during the month of June, giving this liqueur its name.

Esprit de June is crafted in the Cognac region of France from the fleeting vine flowers of the local Ugni Blanc, as well as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other grape varietals. The flowers are hand-cut from the vine and prepared separately. Using a process developed by master distiller Jean Sebastien Robicquet, each type of flower is infused in neutral grape spirit for several days to extract its flavor. Next, each flower-infused grape spirit is strained off and distilled in a Florentine pot still — the same kind used by master perfume makers. The distillates are then blended together and distilled again to unify their distinctive flavors.

Despite the addition of sugar, Esprit de June's flavor is sweet, but not too sweet, with hints of pear, peach and strawberry. As this liqueur is only 28 per cent alcohol by volume, it goes down smoothly and easily on its own. Serve Esprit de June on ice or add it to your favorite cocktail or mixer for enhanced flavor.

Price: $30

Summer Sour cocktail, made with Esprit de June liqueur

Summer Sour

3/4 oz Esprit de June liqueur
1 1/4 oz gin
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz rich sugar syrup
1/2 oz fresh egg white

Shake the ingredients with large ice cubes for 10-15 seconds. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with three drops of Angostura bitters.

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PBH032411 (Updated: 07/26/12 BH)

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