Apologue, local maker of all-natural spirited liqueurs, has made saffron accessible to bartenders and at-home cocktail makers with the release of its newest expression. The bright yellow-orange saffron liqueur is complemented by a blend of Middle Eastern fruits, roots, herbs and spices.
“Each of Apologue’s liqueurs feature unique, regional ingredients that give cocktail enthusiasts access to new, interesting flavors” said Robby Haynes, co-founder of Apologue. “We started in our own backyard with Midwest ingredients like Aronia, Persimmon, and Celery Root, and with our first line extension, are expanding to South Asia with Saffron from Afghanistan.”
Inspired largely by Apologue co-founder Ziyad Asrar’s South Asian heritage and palate, Saffron offers an aroma that's packed with classic Middle Eastern spices, cardamom and coriander. The flavors pair with ginger beer, gin, vodka, funky rums, and cognac.
“Saffron is an often used but underappreciated ingredient in Indian and Pakistani cuisine,” said Asrar. You often see a lot of big flavors used together, intentionally clashing to create deep complexity in traditional dishes. We wanted to bring this mindset to the cocktail space with the release of our Saffron liqueur.”
On the production side, Apologue is partnering with Rumi Spice, a fellow Chicago-based Certified B Corp. Started by a team of US military veterans, Rumi sources saffron from local Afghan farms and employs more than 1900 women in Herat, Afghanistan to hand-harvest the delicate crimson stigmas of the flowers.
Apologue Saffron is available now for $29.99 (375 mL) and $39.99 (750 mL) at select Chicago retailers.