I've been asked where did the idea of launching my own liquor line come from, more times than I can count. For that answer I often go back, way back to Buckley's Site or what the folks in St. Kitts affectionately call The Village. Walwyn Avenue to be exact, the street where my first memories as an impressionable and adventurous child started after I left England. I remember spending a lot of time in the kitchen watching my mom prepare meals not only for her husband and son but also her brothers-in-law and father-in-law. My mother introduced me to a lot of things but what she did in the kitchen resonated and I believe helped shape the person I am today. Some of my favorite memories were our one-on-one tea times at the dining room table where my mom would fix some delicious concoctions from her days living in Leeds, England. I remember the cold bottle of Guinness, mixed with fresh cow's milk (how fresh?... well the milk was still in the cow when I woke up that morning). Then she would crack a couple fresh eggs (how fresh?... the eggs were still in the chicken, in the backyard when my mom sent me to bed the night before). She would add fresh brown sugar (how fresh?... the sugar cane was still growing virtually in our backyard when school started from summer break a few months earlier). Some solid and liquid spices and strain contents, creating a milky, silky brown glass of rich goodness. She would allow me to sip it with her and I tell you, it was sooo good. But as a 7 year old, the frothy remains piled up in the strainer, set off to the side, looked like a delicious scoop of ice cream and the 'Curious George' in me just couldn't resist shoving a heaping spoonful into my mouth. If you've ever cracked a raw egg in your mouth, well, the experience was just about the same. I immediately spit it out with a shriek of shock and disgust at what had just just entered my mouth. My mom just looked at me (with a look on her face like- "that's what your greedy ass get!").
It was the beginning of my fascination with flavors. I soon began creating my own fresh fruit juices, made with fruits picked from the many trees planted by my family in our backyard. Limes, bitter oranges, papayas, cashew cherry, mangoes, soursop, sugar cane, sorrel, ginger, coconuts and many more became my first suppliers. My friends would come over and I would create my juice drinks for them, experimenting with spices and essences but I also had a special, secret ingredient that only went into my plastic cup and only... when I was alone. My dad would keep this green bottle with a cool looking label that read 'BRANDY' in one of the kitchen cabinets. At night I would see dad pour himself a little glass and sip on it for a while before my mom sent me to bed. I remember smelling it a few times and finding the aroma sharply distinctive and alluring. But I don't remember taking a sip. I was somewhere between 7 and 10 years old and I knew this was an adult bottle. However the 'Curious George' in me imagined what my lemonade would taste like with this special liquid. I soon began the almost daily spiking of my lemonade. My lemonade never tasted the same again after that. Now a disclaimer: I don't have a drinking problem and I recognize many people do. I believe my early exposure to alcohol (champagne, milky Guinness and 'Village Shandy' made with red Bryson and Carib beer), at the tender age of 5 by my parents helped remove what could have become an unhealthy fascination with alcohol and also taught me about responsibility and good behavior.
I don't remember the name of my dad's brandy but I do believe using brandy to craft my homemade lemonade back in the day has come full circle with the upcoming launch the Ou👄Oui!® Premium Liqueur line. Cognac is one of the more popular spirits you'll find in a bottle. Sipping on cognac conveys sophistication and confidence and the secrets revealed in the following article by Alexis Korman will help you become a connoisseur of this fine spirit. Now go one step further and add some Ou👄Oui!® Passion Fruit Liqueur to your brandy (Paul Masson Peach Brandy is my personal favorite) and you'll take your sipping experience to another level. Sip 'N Say Ou👄Oui!® starts this spring and summer.