Domain de Canton: Message in a Bottle?
People who have followed my work know that I am an unabashed fan of this spirit. It's simply one of the most complex, well-balanced, vivid and delicious liqueurs to have come around in generations. And I haven't really found anyone who disagrees with me. So the quality of the spirit is not really at issue.
But I have to ask you: What do you think of this bottle?
It's been coming back to me that people are really polarized about the bottle design of Domaine de Canton--they either love it or hate it. The people who like it seem to think that the heavy, frosted glass bottle is artful and graceful, its shape suggestive of both a cane of bamboo and a Chinese lantern. Those who hate it seem to find it tacky and cheesy, the modern-day equivalent of rum in a bottle shaped like a tiki god's head. I've heard that some bartenders are admitting that they like the liqueur but would never be caught dead with a bottle like this on their bar.
I have to admit--that reaction flabbergasts me. I find the Canton bottle elegant and see it as the farthest thing from cheap or white-trashy design. Even if I did, though, and I still loved the contents, I wouldn't refuse to carry it. Is the bottle design of Maker's Mark so beautiful? Do we really love the way Stoli looks? To me, the Domaine de Canton is a far more comprehensible and suggestive design than, say, Clase Azul tequila (below).
Anyway, I think the focus should be on what's inside the bottle, but I'd love to get your thoughts on this controversy.