Merlet Wild Strawberry: wildly delicious, many ways [classic article]

Ever since Louis XIV, “The Sun King,” the French have really cornered the market on inventive luxury items. They know the little things that make life that much more sparkly. Back in the day, The Sun King championed innovations like mirrors, umbrellas and street lighting to enhance socializing. Today, the good times continue with Merlet and its marvelous collection of fruit liqueurs. I’m glad I was given the opportunity to try it!

The bottle notes that Merlet is located in the Saintonge land, in the French area of the Charentes,

“Creme de Fraise des Bois” or Wild Strawberry, is a sophisticated fruit liqueur. It’s made with wild and Mara variety of strawberries and this is what they say about it: Red-dark orange tinted robe. Freshly picked wild strawberries nose with hints of blood oranges and lime. On the palate, the delicate sweetness leaves room to the wild strawberry to blossom with very light buttery notes. The liqueur is crafted through an artisinal method of fruit infused in neutral spirit, to best capture the fruit’s aroma.

I would add that it’s got a candied nose, but a more natural flavor upon sipping, intense in the mouth. The light buttery notes gave me an idea serving-wise, which you’ll see later. Don’t go by the color in my photo here: the lighting’s pretty bad chez moi.

They suggest serving it on the rocks, with soda water or in the French tradition with still white wine or Champagne. That makes it a terrific, versatile item to keep in your home liquor cabinet, because you can easily transform your simple wine offerings to guests into something truly special. I would also add that many people like to drizzle some fruit liqueur on good vanilla ice cream as an easy to serve elegant dessert. When I tried it, I realized that the vanilla maybe crushes the buttery notes of the wild strawberry. Many people like adding a little salt to berries or melons, so believe me when I tell you that a little bit of chocolate covered toffee pieces add some je ne sais quoi to the mix! Everything comes back to life, with all the notes highlighted beautifully.

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