Ingredient Hunter: Liquor

Maybe it’s the allure of drinking something you can’t normally have, but one of our favorite parts of traveling outside the country is discovering bottlings that aren’t available in the US. To help make your search a bit easier, here are six tipples you should look for abroad. Happy hunting!

Carlshamns Flaggpunsch Swedish Punsch Liqueur ($25):

While Swedish punsch, a Jerry Thomas-era Scandinavian liqueur, was once popular in America, it’s now nearly impossible to find. Historian and advisor David Wondrich suggests buying a bottle if you’re in Sweden. You can drink it with water (hot or cold) in the traditional way or use it in a cocktail.

Hibiki 17-Year-Old ($125) and 21-Year-Old ($200) Blended Whisky:

Just a couple years ago, we got Suntory’s delicious Hibiki 12-Year-Old here in the States. The distillery actually produces several other varieties, including the award-winning 17-Year-Old and 21-Year-Old, but you have to go to Japan or Europe to find them.

Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Scotch Whisky ($37):

William Grant & Sons, owner of famed Scotches Glenfiddich and The Balvenie, sells this easy-drinking blend of three single malts in Australia and the United Kingdom. The smooth whisky has plenty of wood and baking-spice notes.

Noilly Prat Ambré Vermouth ($28):

Whenever advisor Jacques Bezuidenhout is in France, he picks up a bottle of Noilly Prat’s Ambré (pictured above). The nutty and rich vermouth is a combination of white wines and the essence of herbs and spices, including cardamom, cinnamon and lavender. (It’s available at La Maison du Whiskey and other select stores.)

Plymouth Navy Strength Gin ($45):

Plymouth Gin is beloved by bartenders across the country. But in the UK, the brand also sells the historic and full-bodied 114-proof Navy Strength Gin. It’s the key ingredient in the Pink Gin cocktail and makes a potent Martini.

Recipes: Martini pink gin

From our Friends



  • Seth Blipbloop posted 4 years ago

    Found Monkey Shoulder at the Local Trader Joe's for $22. Really good. I was wondering if anyone knows what scotches are used in the blend.

  • Varjak posted 6 years ago

    It's very frustrating that Plymouths won't import the MIDDLE STRENGTH they used to make available only in Duty Free outlets. (They may not make it at all anymore.) It was 46 or 47 percent ABV, which is more standard for London Gins. Of course, you can mix the 'regular' Plymouths with the Navy Strength and get a similar result.

  • Bradley Thompson posted 6 years ago

    Nice work! I've been trying to build a good list of these 'unavailable in the US' spirits for awhile now. A few more that I've uncovered include: Cherry Marnier, the cherry-flavored cousin to the standard orange Grand Marnier, Van Der Hum, a tangerine liquor from South Africa, and many varieties of Citroenbrandewijn, a lemon brandy that rarely makes its way out of the Netherlands.

  • Mossy posted 6 years ago

    Don't forget to pickup a bottle of Tapatio Tequila when you're in Mexico. It's delicious and unavailable in the US.

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