The Damson stands today as an endangered variety from a bygone era. The turn of the 20th century marked what many consider to be the golden age of fruit and vegetable propagation in the United States—by 1915, over 7,500 new and unique varieties were introduced and also catalogued as watercolors by government commissioned artists. This progressive era was short-lived as post-war developments in commercial farming and mass distribution forced the majority of these varieties into extinction. Grown in limited quantities by stubborn farmers, the Damson today flutters the heart of a farmer's market passerby.
Averell is an exceptionally bright liqueur—the fresh-pressed juice of heirloom Damson Plums married to a botanical gin marked by juniper, warm winter spices, bay leaf and ginger. Delicious with seltzer, sparkling wine or ginger beer, in both hot and cold black tea, or on its own, over ice. The history of the Damson dates to the dawn of civilization. Prized by the Romans and Crusaders, its cultivation spread throughout Europe and later to the orchards of North American colonial settlers who appreciated its nervy character: rich, intensely tart
Averell lends a drying effect to cocktails and offers acidity outside of citrus. Its mid-weight alcohol content makes it versatile. Try showcasing it in a two-ingredient refresher such as Averell with bitter lemon soda or ginger beer served over ice in a tall glass. Or take it one step further by creating a classic sour with lemon, egg white and club soda. Using Averell in stirred drinks gives dried fruit and sweet spice components, which can be useful with pork, poultry and game birds.