Match of the week | Tonka bean ice cream and Zoco Pacharan

Match of the week

Tonka bean ice cream and Zoco Pacharan

It’s not often I come across a drink I’ve never heard of but Pacharan or Paxtaran, a Basque sloe-flavoured liqueur from Navarra, is one of them.

According to Wikipedia it’s made by soaking sloes, coffee beans and a vanilla pod in anisette, an aniseed flavoured liqueur - the dark colour, which is entirely natural, coming from the sloes. This one, which was served at Bell’s Diner in Bristol is made by the best known producer Zoco. with a selection of home-made ice creams.

Ice-cream is particularly hard to match with wine and much better with a stronger, sweeter liqueur. The Pacharan was particularly good with a Tonka bean ice cream - a vanilla-style ice-cream that obviously picked up on its own vanilla notes but also very good with a pistachio ice-cream and toasted marshmallow ice cream (though less good with a mint one).

Do try it if you get the chance even if you don’t like aniseed, which I confess I generally don’t. The flavour is not too pronounced and the combination is delicious.

You can buy it in the UK from Beers of Europe which sells it for £18.98 for a litre bottle though it seems to be around £23-25 at merchants such as Nicholls & Perks. It would also be worth looking out for in a Spanish duty free.

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