Limited Edition Mandarine Napoléon XO Gold Honouring 125 Years

Mandarine Nap
To celebrate 125 years of its fine product, Mandarine Napoléon has crafted an extraordinary version of its delectable liqueur: The Limited Edition Mandarine Napoléon XO Gold. The special edition is a distillate of Sicilian mandarins blended with nothing less than a 125-year-old Grande Fine Champagne Cognac – resulting in a delightfully fresh and soft mandarin flavour with a delicious balanced cognac finish. Every bottle of the mandarin-infused liqueur in its robe d’or contains a harmonious touch of cognac from 1892: the year Mandarine Napoléon was first available to the public – covered by hand with 24-carat gold, combining craftsmanship, heritage and exquisite quality in and on a glorious bottle. Moreover, a special anniversary box, the walnut wood was exclusively designed to hold the product, so without a doubt, the XO Gold Limited Edition is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.

The fact that people have been savouring Mandarine Napoléon for as long as 125 years now was the impulse that spawned the idea of creating an anniversary edition. Admittedly, it was not an easy task finding a suitable cognac well over a century old. However, a Grande Fine Champagne Cognac from 1892 was ultimately found, which truly adds colour and harmony to the Mandarine Napoléon Gold. As icing on the cake, a goldsmith from a small hamlet in the south of the Netherlands has then manually covered the bottle with 24-carat gold – so the bottle shimmers and shines from within the tailor-made walnut wood box.

Many people enjoy Mandarine Napoléon XO Gold as a royal twist in the Napoléon Margarita, but since the Limited Edition Mandarine Napoléon XO Gold is made with the exclusive Grande Fine Champagne Cognac, it is probably best savoured neat or on the rocks to experience the delicate subtleties and unique finish.

If you wish to order Mandarine Napoléon XO Gold Limited Edition, simply send an email to: A symbolic price of €1892.00 has been set for this extraordinary liqueur and since this is a limited edition, there is a maximum of only 125 bottles available.

De Kuyper And UKBG Get Things Shaking In The North West

De Kuyper

The North West is set to discover the brightest in bartending talent later this month, as the northern heat of UKBG National Cocktail competition heads to the Cheshire town of Warrington. The event will be sponsored by De Kuyper, the world’s largest producer of cocktail liqueurs.

The cocktail competition, which will take place in Tom’s at 101, Stockton Heath on 23rd June, will give the region’s bartenders a chance to show off their skills and have their recipe tasted by an esteemed panel of Drinks Industry professionals.

Mixologists will battle it out to be crowned the best in their region, as well as the chance to represent the UK in the IBA World Cocktail Championship in 2016. Watching over each entrant will be the crème de la crème of cocktail experts, judging their bespoke creations whilst keeping their eyes peeled in the hope of discovering the next big thing in bartending.

Contenders will be challenged to make a twist on a Crusta, featuring a minimum of 20ml from The De Kuyper liqueur range. Each drink must be presented and served to four people within seven minutes, and will be judged on appearance, aroma and taste.

De Kuyper is the world’s largest producer of cocktail liqueurs, and is widely regarded as the go-to liqueur brand for professional bartenders, currently with some 20 flavours available in the UK; a selection stocked by Booker Wholesale, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s & Asda. The family-run business is based in Schiedam, Netherlands, and has succeeded in making a global name for itself as a leading distiller of liqueurs and advocaat for more than three centuries.

The UKBG Cocktail Competition Northern Heat will take place from 11am at the Tom’s at 101, Stockton Heath, Warrington. Entrants must be members of the UKBG to compete, with annual membership available from £35. For more info on how to register, please visit



Most of you will know that the Dutch are the creditors when gin is concerned. They were the fathers of Genever, which spun itself into the category we all know and love. It’s odd then that here in the UK, Dutch gin’s are relatively low on the ratio scale. Bols and Sylvius are just two of a handful that have made it over full-time so-to-speak, and today I wanted to feature another that is worthy of your time, Wenneker.

Wenneker takes itself back to 1693, February 16th to be exact, when Hendrick Steeman erected two brandy distilling-kettles. It’s these two pieces of equipment that found itself in the possession of Joannes Wenneker in 1812, but would leave the family tree when his great-grandson Franciscus Wenneker sold the company to a malter from Schiedam named Johannes Cornelis van der Tuijn due to the lack of successors. The Van der Tujin family still own Wenneker Distilleries today, and the fourth generation team is in place, although not at Schiedam. Instead, due to the lack of space for expansion in the original distillery, they moved to Roosendaal in 1967. Since then, they have acquired a number of famous Dutch distilleries including Piersma, Duys, Smeets and Distillery J.J Melchers Wz. Schiedam (with Olifant (Elephant) as their best known label).

The Wenneker name has always produced and created a range of Genevers and liqueurs, and still use the original recipe from the 17th century as a basis for the production. This feature though will focus on its newest line in its gin category, Wenneker Elderflower. Created using 6 distillates; Juniper berries, lime-tree blossom, lemon, orange, coriander and elderflower and produced in small batches of 1,200 bottles using pure water, Wenneker Elderflower was released in 2014.

But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Wenneker Elderflower – 40%

Light elderflower notes on the nose, with subtle hints of citrus and dry root. Plenty of elderflower on the palate, with a long finish of light lime, and dry kicks of coriander.

A gin for a gin and tonic perhaps?

Wenneker and Tonic

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

25 ml Wenneker Elderflower
60 ml Schweppes Tonic Water

Method – 

Combine the gin and tonic over an ice filled tumbler glass and garnish with either a wedge of lime or lemon.

Although their main brands are Genever and liqueurs, their gin stands up very well for a good gin and tonic. It would be intriguing to see how different the Elderflower and the original dry gin expression are, so hopefully see that result very soon. In the meantime, grab a different gin and tonic this summer.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Oseven and Boompjes Tasting Notes


I’ve recently covered a new brand which gives its name to one of the fathers of gin, Franciscus Sylvius, the aptly named Sylvius. The distillery Onder de boompjes doesn’t just produce Sylvius though, it also houses a brand of genever named Boompjes as well as a vodka called Oseven.

OsevenTake a look at my piece on Sylvius, which details the origins of the brand as well as how it is produced. This piece however will look at its two other brands, starting out with Boompjes and its two expressions. Boompjes is crafted the traditional Dutch way, and being the home of genever, you can guarantee a high level of skill will be involved. Its Premium expression is made with pure spring water from the Hunzedal as well as grain alcohol and 10% of quadruple distilled malt wine, while its Old Dutch variety contains one Juniper esprit and one mandarin esprit, both 20% of malt wine and matured individually for three years in bourbon oak casks. Like its counterpart, it’s made with grain alcohol and pure spring water from the Hunzedal.

Oseven vodka is also made in the traditional manner and comes free from any additives. It’s distilled from grain four times and then goes through a three-day filtration process over charcoal made from French birch wood. The mineral water used comes from the Anl’eau spring in Hunzedal.

So how do these three expressions fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Boompjes Premium – 35%

Sharp on the nose with malt aromas coming through. A developed palate of grain and spice from the beginning, smooth but with a kick at the end of fresh juniper. Lingers.

Boompjes Old Dutch – 38%

Slight notes of sweet juniper on the nose, with a clean, light palate of malt and grain blending well. A little heat and spice on the dry, lingering finish.

Oseven – 40%

Very clean and light on the nose, with a very subtle hint of grain. Light on the palate too, with a little sweetness and soft texture. Short, but effective.

Really good on their own, but maybe ask your bartender for one of these –

Holland House
Holland House

Holland House

Glass –


Ingredients – 

40 ml Boompjes Premium Genever
10 ml Luxardo Maraschino
15 ml Noilly Prat
15 ml Fresh Lemon Juice

Method – 

Shake all ingredients and fine strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with an olive.

Two very different expressions of genever, and a surprising hit with the vodka as their traditional methods of production have come through with some winners. Not widely available currently, but you can find the Boompjes here, and the Oseven here to add to your collection.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sloane’s Gin Tasting Notes

Sloane’s Gin have just come off the success of their first ever world cocktail competition held at the The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker in London, so i thought it would be a good time to take a look back at this Dutch gin that first graced the shelves back in October last year.

So what is Sloane’s?

Sloane’s Gin

Well Sloane’s is named in honour of Sir Hans Sloane (Royal Physician and Botanist, 1660-1753) whose botanical collection (which formed the foundation of the British and Natural History Museum collections) most likely introduced to the UK the exotic botanicals of juniper, orange & lemon peel, oris root, angelica, cardamom, coriander, cassia bark, liquorice & vanilla which undoubtedly influenced and inspired the early English gin distillers and have formed the basis for flavouring gins ever since.

As an aside, Sir Hans Sloane also gave his name to the prestigious upmarket areas of Kensington and Chelsea, namely Hans Crescent, Sloane Square and Sloane Street. He was a life-long benefactor and landlord of the Physic Garden Chelsea one of the UK’s foremost institutions for growing and experimenting in the use of plants and plant extracts for medicinal purposes – one of the first uses for juniper distillates – the forerunner of modern gin.

So with a rather unique history, it’s not surprising that the production of Sloane’s also follows the path.

Sloane’s distills each of its 9 botanicals individually before each distillate is blended together. Each botanical (juniper berries, coriander seeds, vanilla, cardamom, liquorice, lemon, orange, angelica and iris root) is distilled fresh, so discards the traditional gin distillation of using dried fruits, so that the natural flavours can be captured.

Sloane’s – 40%

The aromas of vanilla, coriander, orange and citrus fruits blend well in your nose to create a well-balanced mix, with the palate enjoying a sweet kick of juniper with the fresh citrus hints coming through soon after. A rather short after-taste doesn’t disappoint the overall experience.

With it amassing some prestigious awards already – double gold medal and 2 awards of ‘World’s Best White Spirit’ and ‘World’s Best Gin’ at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2011 as well as a silver medal and ‘Best in Class’ at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2010, expect something rather special if you order this at a bar. Or maybe ask your bartender for this –

Sloan Ranger

Sloane Ranger – created by Robin Webb, winner of the Sloane’s Twisted Traditions Cocktail Competition



Ingredients –

50ml Sloane’s Gin
25ml Lemon juice
20ml King’s Ginger
3 Dashes of rhubarb bitters
1 Barspoon of Ginger & Rhubarb jam

Method –

Shaken and fine strain over cubed ice.

Take a look at the rest of the photos taken at The Circle 360 via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Please note that the Sloane’s history has been taken from the Toorank Distillery website