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Su Lum: New shampoo

For more years than I care to count, my alcoholic libation of choice has been Bauchant, an orange liqueur (“Liqueur Napoleon d’orange au cognac”) similar to Grand Marnier except that it is half the price and, to my mind, better.

One night at an Aspen Times party I pulled a plastic bottle of what was then referred to as “Su’s brandy” out of my backpack. Wayland Weatherred wrinkled his nose and asked, “What in the world is THAT?” I said it was just my brandy and he replied, “It looks like a bottle of shamPOO.” So of course thereafter it has been known as “Su’s Shampoo.”

Imagine my shock when I trotted into Carl’s Wine Cellar the other day and learned, zut alors, that my shampoo had been taken off the market and they themselves were down to one bottle.



I have made some half-hearted efforts to search for a stash, locating two bottles of it in a California outlet on the Internet, only to find that, thanks to those wonderful folks in the Alcohol, Tobacco and

Firearms Bureau, wine can be shipped to Colorado but “spirits” can’t, but the bottom line is that Bauchant has always been hard to find anywhere except Aspen and if it’s gone for good what I need is to find a replacement.




People have asked me if this is a French issue and I seriously doubt it because Grand Marnier and brie are still on the shelves and I think we’re over that anyway. Start a boycott and the next thing you know you’re throwing the escargot out with the bath water, sacre bleu!

The boys at Carl’s pointed out that both Bauchant and Grand Marnier are made by combining cognac with orange liqueur, and I went home with an arsenal of assorted ingredients including V.S. Courvoisier (“Le cognac de Napoleon”), Christian Brothers brandy, Gran Torres and Cuarenta y Tres, both orange liqueurs, and a small bottle of Triple Sec.

Let the experimentation begin!

Over the weekend, my daughter Skye and I sat down at the kitchen table with a number of small tasting glasses. Cuarenta y Tres was eliminated immediately due to tasting like paint thinner even when cut with Triple Sec, and in the end we favored the Gran Torres mixed with Courvoisier, but it wasn’t very scientific because we didn’t write down the formulas (“Wait, is this Triple Sec and brandy?”), and did not have the sobriety to go through all the permutations, and we wasted some drops of the last bottle of Bauchant which had to be enlisted for purposes of comparison.

We also found that even after a few sips our palates were pretty much sandpapered, a phenomenon which is the reason why knowledgeable hosts serve the good wine first and bring out the rotgut later.

Meanwhile, the guys at The Wine Cellar are lining up more possibilities and the experiment could go on for a long, long time.

What I need is a good chemist to analyze the properties of Bauchant and come up with the recipe.

[Su Lum is a longtime local who will appreciate any tips at su@rof.net. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times]


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