Odd chaps, liqueurs. Not wines, nor simply spirits, but an uncategorisable kaleidoscope of fascinations, each with their own story to tell: the 'Other Music' section of the record shop, if you will, where all the interesting stuff lives. The liqueur story starts in the Middle Ages, when monasteries would have their own remedial herb gardens. The monks made the happy discovery that the herbs lasted a lot longer if they were infused in alcohol, the only drawback being that they tasted disgusting.
And they stayed fairly disgusting, until sugar became widely available in the late 1500s. A spoonful of sugar - at the very least - helped the medicine go down, and from then on the fun started and the recipes could be crafted into works of art. Don't believe us? Try Bénédictine, a mystery-shrouded concoction of four spirits, laden with herbs and spices, blended together with honey and saffron and aged in oak for several months. Monastic artistry!