Monday, July 18, 2011

Cassis the Healing Liquor

Black Currants are the amazing berry Cassis is produced from.  While the quality of the Cassis produced is dependent on the variety of berries used, there are many health benefits to black currants.  So one can argue, that there are many health benefits to drinking a glass of Cassis.

Let's begin with the health benefits of the black currant berry.

  • High in vitamin C
  • High in anthocyanins
  • High in fiber
  • High in Potassium and Iron
  • Anthocyanins & polyphenolics may protect against memory loss associated with Alzheimers & dementia
  • Quercetin found in black currants may lower the risk of certain types of cancer
  • Oil from the black currant seeds reduces "bad" LDL cholesterol 
There are 5 major varietals of black currants
  1. Blacksmith
  2. Boskoop Giant
  3. Noir de Bourgogne
  4. Wellington XXX
  5. Willoughby 
In my research they say the Noir de Bourgnogne are the berries with the best flavor.  Since I have not tasted any of the varietals off the stem, I can't comment.  However, I will tell you that the varietals used in producing Cassis will effect the quality of the liquor.  Since there are so many positive health benefits of the black current  berry, I would say having a small glass of Cassis every couple of days would be healthy.

In the Hudson Valley, Clinton Vineyards was the only Cassis producer of Cassis for quite a while.  Now there are 6 producers of Cassis.  They are:
  • Clinton Vineyards
  • Hudson-Chatham Winery
  • Tousey Winery
  • Brookview Station Winery
  • Glorie Farm Winery
  • Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery
I have only tasted Cassis from two of the valley's producers.  One was smooth, not to sweet, well balanced and displayed the fruit well, while the other was tart and bitter.  When you are out tasting in the Hudson Valley, please let me know your thoughts on the Cassis you taste.
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