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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Navan French Vanilla Liqueur
Navan French Vanilla Liqueur
Big Al Tiki

Joined: Nov 03, 2011
Posts: 6
Posted: 2011-12-19 2:38 pm   Permalink

Hey there!

Was wondering if anyone knew of a good substitute for Navan French Vanilla Liqueur. I've been trying to find it around los angeles but no one seems to carry it anymore. I've tried bevmo, total wine, wine/liquor depot, walleys wine and spirits and beverage warehouse but no luck. I also saw that kahlua makes a french vanilla liqueur but have no clue of it is really comparable.

Thanks ahead of time for your help!

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 07, 2011
Posts: 66
From: San Francisco Bay, CA
Posted: 2011-12-19 2:52 pm   Permalink

I did a couple of quick searches, and it looks like the Grand Marnier folks did stop selling the Navan -- the Web site is even dead. They billed it as a vanilla flavored cognac, so the Meukow might be a good alternative:

http://bit.ly/tXqYHs (link to Google shopping search)

The Meukow site is here: http://www.meukowcognac.com/frame.php?lang=gbr

Well whaddayaknow, I've started a spirits and cocktail blog called Inu A Kena

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Posts: 697
From: Agoura Hills, CA
Posted: 2011-12-19 8:15 pm   Permalink

I substitute Licor 43 (Cuarenta Y Tres) for Navan. It's not an exact match, but Licor 43 does have a good vanilla element and is used in a few other recipes. The only recipe I've ever seen call specifically for Navan is The Dead Reckoning and 43 works just fine there.


if it's not a little complicated, it's probably not worth it.
5 Minutes of Rum

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 899
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2011-12-20 02:06 am   Permalink

I've never had the Navan, and it appears i never will from the sound of it. I was going to suggest Licor 43 myself and Galliano is also vanilla based. From memory Marie Brizzard have a vanilla liqueur also, although i've never tried it.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1287
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2011-12-20 04:58 am   Permalink

It's still for sale in the Uk, so if you know someone who can ship it. But Liqor 43 sounds like a good substitute.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2011
Posts: 374
From: Potomac Falls, VA
Posted: 2011-12-20 06:54 am   Permalink

Navan was discontinued, although I still see it on the shelves around here (Northern Virginia). So you might be able to track some down if you're interested enough. There are other Vanilla-flavored Cognacs, including Meukow and Hardy, although I haven't tried them.

I would just go with the Licor 43, which is a great liqueur.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 439
From: Rockledge, FL
Posted: 2011-12-20 09:57 am   Permalink

According the the Grand Marnier website, Navan is available in Canada, France, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the Virgin Islands. There are a couple of threads about this on their boards, but no definitive answer. I have sent an email to the company. As is usual with corporate communication, I'm not holding my breath on a reply.

It makes no sense to me, because once I convinced the local liquor store to stock it, they couldn't keep it on the shelves. I

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Kahuna Kevin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 12, 2010
Posts: 188
From: Mountain View, CA
Posted: 2011-12-20 9:58 pm   Permalink

What a bummer. Meukow is not a decent substitute as the flavor and potency just aren't there. Meukow is buttery and subtle, the Navan is notably a stronger proof and the flavor really lingers on the palette. I'll need to research as my new book uses Navan for 3 drinks.

Licor 43 might not work as I thought it had citrus notes? But if the citrus notes are subtle enough then it might be fine. Galliano might work, but last I remember it had a more of a cotton candy-ish flavor.

Big Al, search on Bevmo's website but check "Store Pickup" vs shipping. I'm finding most have a stock of about 15 375ml bottles for $13 each. My local Mountain View store lists 51 bottles.

Here's an interesting article on 3 vanilla liquors. I may buy a bottle of ~$30 cognac and experiment with infusing natural Madagascar vanilla beans, adding Turbinado, Demerara or cane syrup to match the sweet/syrupy viscosity of Navan. I'm sipping Navan right now and also notice the ever slightest touch of honey. The cognac is definitely on the forefront which leads me to believe home infusion may be the way to go as long as plenty of vanilla is used. I'm still tasting vanilla well after 5 minutes of taking a sip.

[ This Message was edited by: Kahuna Kevin 2011-12-20 22:54 ]

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Trader Tom

Joined: Jan 26, 2006
Posts: 828
From: Hillsboro, OR
Posted: 2011-12-20 11:29 pm   Permalink

I bought a big bottle of Navan from the duty free store at an airport in Germany this last July. If you have any friends doing international travel during the holidays, have them check out the duty free stores as well. There may be some stock left.

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Big Al Tiki

Joined: Nov 03, 2011
Posts: 6
Posted: 2011-12-21 10:24 pm   Permalink

Wow thanks for all the help everyone. I ended up picking up a botle of meukow and then drove a bit further to grab that navan from a bevmo, thanks for that kevin. You can definitley taste the difference with the amount of vanilla in them but i havnt tried the results yet of meukow as a mixer instead of navan. Thanks again!

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