Domaine_de_CantonThis is unexpected.

Bardstown, Ky.-based Heaven Hill Distilleries has acquired the worldwide rights to the Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur from Maurice Cooper et Cie., based in Miami, Fla.

We had to look this one up.

French Ginger Liqueur is made by hand in France from baby Vietnamese ginger. You mix it with cognac.

Well, not in Kentucky.

But somewhere, because Maurice Cooper execs recently told Shanken News Daily, a spirits industry website, they expect Domaine de Canton volume to increase by about 30 percent during 2014.

“Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur is a unique one of a kind product that is among the fastest growing liqueurs in the spirits industry. This product inspires creativity throughout the cocktail world and has become increasingly popular over the last several years,” stated Max L. Shapira, Heaven Hill president in the release. “Canton will play a great role in expanding our presence in every channel of the spirits business. Most notably, it complements our existing business of premium Liqueurs and American Whiskeys already recognized for their outstanding quality and versatility.”

No financial terms were released.

From the Heaven Hill news release:

Launched in 2007 by Maurice Cooper et Cie., Domaine de Canton is inspired by the French tradition in which sweet and fresh elixirs are fortified by fine eau de vie and cognac. It is the world’s first premium ginger liqueur and features an elegant bamboo package inspired by its Asian ginger heritage. The product is widely embraced by consumers and mixologists for its bright and rich ginger spiciness in both simple and sophisticated cocktails.

Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur  is available in 375ml, 750ml and 1L sizes at 56 proof, selling for an average retail price of $35, according to the release.

Though we never head of ginger liqueur, all you have to do is go on Youtube, and you will see dozens of elaborately produced videos from their Bartender of the Year competition. Apparently, the creative types LOVE this stuff, as you can see here:

In case you’ve been living under a rock in Tierra del Fuego, Heaven Hill is the largest family owned spirits company in the U.S. How large? Only the Shapira family knows. But there are those who say Heaven Hill matches Brown-Forman’s $4 billion or so in annual gross revenue.

Globally, Heaven Hill likely is third in global sales volume among privately held spirits makers or distributors behind Southern Wine and Spirits and Bacardi. Top Heaven Hill brands include Evan Williams Bourbon, the No. 2 bourbon ranked by sales behind Jim Beam, and Hpnotiq liqueur.

About Heaven Hill: Founded in 1934, Bardstown, KY-based Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes Evan Williams Bourbon; Larceny , Elijah Craig and Henry McKenna Bourbons, Burnett’s Vodkas and Gin; Admiral Nelson’s and Blackheart Rums; HPNOTIQ Liqueur; The Christian Brothers Brandies; PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur; Lunazul Tequila; Cinerator Hot Cinnamon Flavored Whiskey and Rittenhouse Rye Whisky.