One of the most popular ginger liqueurs on the market today, Domaine de Canton has a brilliant sweet and spicy ginger flavor. It's a bottle you'll find behind many bars and in nearly any liquor store you visit. Adding it to your own bar is a great idea because it can be used in a variety of cocktail recipes.
Domaine de Canton is a French ginger liqueur with a brandy base. It's made in small batches with eau-de-vie and VSOP and XO Grande Champagne Cognacs. The ginger comes from fresh, baby Vietnamese ginger, which is peeled and cut by hand. That's then blended with other herbs and spices, including Tahitian vanilla beans and Provencal orange blossom honey.
The flavor profile of this yellow-gold liqueur begins with an aroma of ginger and honey. The taste is of ginger, honey, and vanilla with a sultry, cream-like texture. You will notice the ginger's heat building as it reaches the edges of your tongue and throat, finishing up the lively experience perfectly.
The name of the liqueur comes from where it was first produced, in Canton (now properly called Guangzhou), China. The original formulation was produced and sold from 1992 to 1997 under the name of "The Original Canton Delicate Ginger Liqueur." This liqueur was discontinued in 1997.
A decade later, a new ginger liqueur was formulated and produced in Jarnac, France, by John Cooper. It's higher proof than the original, at 28 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), or 56 proof. This new formulation was first called Canton Ginger & Cognac Liqueur when it was released in the U.S. in 2007. In 2008, the name changed to the current Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur.
Ginger Liqueur Cocktails
You can certainly enjoy Domaine de Canton on its own—best on the rocks or slightly chilled—though it really shines in cocktails. This is a versatile liqueur that can pair with a variety of spirits, fruits, herbs, and spices, and in cocktails of every style. You will never run short of new and fun drink recipes to explore.
One of the first drinks to try is the simple ginger martini. In it, the liqueur is poured equally with vodka, which really showcases the sweet-spicy flavor. Another fascinating and simple recipe is la coloniale where it's poured alongside gin with no other ingredients to distract from the taste combination of botanical spice.
From there, start adding flavors in recipes like the bourbon-based gold rush or opt for rum and pimento dram in the winter cocktail. While that's a cold drink, the liqueur is fabulous when warmed up in a hot ginger toddy.
Domaine de Canton doesn't get lost in more complex cocktails, either. In the blood martini, for instance, its flavor pokes through the dark profile of grape juice and blackberry syrup. It can even stand up to the aged rum, mezcal, and blood orange combination found in a dragon's heart. And, you'll love the double dose of ginger against tequila in Jim's diablo recipe in which ginger beer plays a big role.
For more unique combinations, try the tranquility of ginger, peach, basil, and bourbon in the Georgia on My Mind recipe. Pair the liqueur with whiskey and sake to create your own Manhattan love story, or tantalize your taste buds with pear vodka and limoncello in a Tuscan pear.
Beyond those cocktails, anytime a recipe calls for ginger liqueur or syrup you will not be disappointed if you pour Domaine de Canton.
Though it may be the best-known name in ginger liqueur, there are a few options that can work as substitutes for Domaine de Canton. It is a pricier liqueur, so you might be able to save a little money by going with another brand.
One of the better bottles is The King's Ginger. It's also a premium liqueur and nearly the same price, but it's definitely worth checking out. If you're looking for the spiciest ginger liqueur, seek out Barrow's Intense Ginger Liqueur, which definitely lives up to its name. New Deal Ginger Liqueur is a great option for bold ginger flavors, too. And, for an organic alternative, FruitLab Ginger Liqueur is sure to please.
On the budget-friendly front, there are a couple of good bottles that work well in cocktails. Look for DeKuyper's Mixologist Collection Ginger Liqueur and Stirrings Ginger Liqueur. Neither may be able to stand on their own, but at a third of the price compared to the premium options, they're a good option for mixed drinks.