Crème de noyau cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

Photography by Dan Malpass

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Crème de noyau (or noyaux) are liqueurs based on distillates of apricot, peach or cherry kernels and have an almond flavour reminiscent of amaretto. Some crème de noyau have a red hue this adds an attractive pink or red colour to many cocktails listed below.

If you can’t obtain crème de noyau then substitute with 3 parts amaretto to one part pomegranate juice.

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Jockey Club
With: Dry gin, crème de noyau, lemon juice, sugar syrup, Angostura Bitters and orange bitters.
We say: Reddy-pink coloured with a sweet and sour almondy amaretto-like flavour fortified by gin botanicals.

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Pink Squirrel
With: Crème de noyau, crème de cacao and cream.
We say: Light pink, sweet and creamy with subtle notes of chocolate, toasted almond and pomegranate.

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Eye-opener
With: Gold rum, orange curaçao, crème de noyau, sugar syrup, absinthe and egg yolk
We say: Resembling watery orange custard, this cocktail is surprisingly silky and suited to after dinner.

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Old Etonian
With: Dry gin, Lillet Blanc, crème de noyau and orange bitters.
We say: This Wet Martini-style cocktail is basically, a Fairbanks No.2 but with Lillet in place of dry vermouth.

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Fairbanks No.2
With: Dry gin, dry vermouth, crème de noyeau and orange bitters.
We say: Original Savoy and Vermeire recipes for this cocktail specify 2 dashes of crème de noyeaux. We’ve interpreted this as being a generous 5ml / 1/6oz measure to add a delicate pink hue and a fruity almond note to this Dry Martini-style cocktail.

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Lily
With: Dry gin, crème de noyeau, Lillet Blanc and lemon juice.
We say: Pinky red, gin laced delicate red fruit and almond nuttiness with light white wine and lemon acidity.

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Yes or Noyau?
With: Bourbon, straight rye whiskey, crème de noyau, and madeira.
We say: Bourbon and rye delicately sweetened and delicately flavoured with fruity almond notes with madeira adding light balancing acidity.