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Monday, Five Thirty: This French Liqueur Seems Like it Belongs in the Caribbean

Where: France
March 24, 2014 at 5:32 PM | by | ()

In celebration of the most needed happy hour of the week, we're launching a new column called “Monday, Five Thirty” that will take a look at different vices from around the world, specifically boozes and beers unique to a destination. Last week, we told you why you should always drink vodka on St. Paddy's Day. This week, we head to France for a taste of South America.

After we had our first taste of Passoa on St. Thomas in the Caribbean, we thought it was a natural fit as far as tropical drinks go, its passion-fruit flavor mixing well with different juices as a rum-punch alternative. When we asked the bartender what island it was made on, he surprised us and said, "France."

It was an eyebrow raiser at the time, and it remains mysterious to us today that such a sunny liqueur would hail from France, a country without a tropical climate and one better known for sophistication and wine. But according to the story, a distiller from Remy-Cointreau traveled to Brazil in 1985 and became obsessed with the passion fruit flower, resulting in a quest to highlight its smell and flavor in a liqueur back home. Using Brazilian passion fruit as a base, Passoa was introduced to the European market in 1986.

Despite its roots, it just doesn't feel like a drink that fits France. We think it tastes best when drank outside of its homeland in a tropical setting, perhaps where its ingredients originate in South America or on a Caribbean Island, as the pinkish-red color and sweet, fruity flavor make it perfect for poolside lounging.

Keep an eye out for it throughout your travels, or purchase it at any large retailer to make cocktails for your upcoming summer parties. You can find recipes on the web, or simply add it into any of your beachy favorites for a taste of the tropics.

[Photo: Petit Bordel Grandes Idees]

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