I had to place a special order with the PLCB the other day to get a bottle of something for my mom. So, as long as I was placing the order, I ordered a bottle of Advocaat. Egg liqueur.
When you say the words “egg liqueur” most people will, instinctively, recoil in horror. There’s no need to do this: the liqueur can’t actually get you if you don’t open the bottle.
I’ve had egg-based liqueurs in the past. In Italy, several of the popular egg liqueurs don’t really taste anything like egg. They’re more like zabaglione in a bottle. This is not such a bad thing.
Advocaat is a bit simpler. When the drink was first made in the New World, it was made with avocado, which gave it the requisite thickness. Avacados being in short supply in Spain, some enterprising experimenter substituted eggs, and the name was changed, over time, due to misunderstanding. The flavor profile is, essentially, eggs, brandy, and sugar. There’s a slightly medicinal tang which I found to be a bit unpleasant, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s an interesting drink. I could imagine breaking it out around the holidays. But the real question raised by the existence of Advocaat — a question raised by so many liqueurs — is “why not just mix the source ingredients yourself?” If you did that with eggs, brandy, and sugar, you’d have a wonderful-tasting (and fresh) egg nog.
As thoroughly OK as Advocaat is, there’s no avoiding the answer: “if you did it yourself, it would taste better.” So there you have it: I drank some Advocaat so that you don’t have to.
And now, a word about the process of actually getting the stuff.
Mindful of the suggestion some have made that special ordering via phone is easy and convenient, I gave it a shot. Out of the 4 things I wanted, only 2 of them were available unless I was willing to order 6 bottles. One of the items I wanted had a 7 bottle minimum if I wanted to pick it up in Butler county, but only a 1 bottle minimum if I wanted to pick it up in Allegheny county.
Color me unimpressed.
On the plus side, the nice lady taking my order was polite, competent, and the entire transaction was completed relatively painlessly, once we slogged through answering the difficult question of what, exactly, I could and could not order.
So, like Advocaat, the online special ordering system was not an abject failure, but not as satisfying as I wanted it to be.
Somehow, that’s apropos.