Jägermeister

Jägermeister
I think it’s safe to say, Jägermeister has become Germany’s most famous drinks export. But other than its consumption within energy drinks, I’ve been looking forward to actually understand Jagermeister, and how it became one of the biggest brand calls the bar scene has ever seen.

So, here goes.

Jägermeister can trace its way back to 1878 and a gentleman named Wilhelm Mast, who founded a wine-vinegar business in his home town of Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony. The business is successful, and his son Curt Mast, comes on board, yet decides to turn the company into a different direction.

Curt showed great talent in the preparation and mixture of herbs, and in 1934, after many years of experiments, he developed a recipe that would become the profile we see of Jägermeister. Curt Mast dedicated his new recipe to all hunters and their honourable traditions. A toast of which every hunt would begin and end due to the spirits combination of only natural ingredients and pure alcohol. It’s with this that the stag would be become the figurehead to Jägermeister. However, it’s not just any stag to emblazon each bottle, but it’s said to be the stag that appeared to a wild hunter and converted him to Christianity. The same hunter who later became the patron saint of all hunters: Saint Hubertus.

The bottle itself is durable, with Curt tried and testing a variety from great heights to make sure the bottle was reliable in transporting his recipe across Germany. He also instructed that the doors to the “Kräuterkellerei”, where Jägermeister is produced, are only open to the 56 secret exotic herbs, blossoms, roots, and fruits, delivered here in sacks from across the world.

After selecting raw materials that are of high-quality for Jägermeister, their master distillers then carefully weigh them as specified in the original traditional recipe. They will then prepare several different dry mixtures of herbs. These are then gently extracted by cold maceration in a process that can take several weeks. Once complete, the master distiller will blend the macerates together and transfer them to one of 445 oak barrels within the cellar at Kräuterkellerei, themselves hewn from wood grown in the local forests of the ‘Pfalzerwald’.

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

Jägermeister – 35%

Fresh orange peel and cinnamon come through on the nose, with a bold richness of allspice and cardamom present. Light, fresh notes of anise present on the palate first, with the rich, bold notes of burnt sugar, toffee, roasted coffee and tobacco leaf coming together. A lingering finish of sweet oak, raisin and orange peel.

Jägermeister Manifest – 38%

Pipped as the ‘world’s first’ super-premium herbal liqueur, Manifest is based on the brand’s original recipe of 56 herbs, roots and spices, but contains additional botanicals and is made using five macerates rather than four, whilst also being double-barrelled matured in both small and large oak casks for more than one year to intensify the flavour.
Light honey notes upon the nose, with a subtle sweet caramel profile sneaking through. A thin texture on the palate that warms up to an anise led profile of honey, raisin, cinnamon stick, clove and ginger. A lingering lick of spice on the finish.

Two fantastic herbal liqueurs, and would be enjoyed chilled or over ice for many years to come. However, this did catch my eye;

Jagermeister - Root 56
Root 56

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients –

50 ml Jägermeister,
Top with Ginger Beer
Squeeze of fresh lime
Garnish with a slice of cucumber

An underrated brand to those who choose to shot, but take the time to experience it and it may surprise you. Make sure you have a bottle of either in your drinks cabinet, and grab some ginger beer too.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

 

 

 

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Bénédictine Tasting Notes

Benedictine

Bénédictine is a staple for many a bar, and indeed possibly your own collection. It’s also been a well-known brand for over 150 years, and has recently been showing off its versatility within cocktails with a number of cocktail competitions in many major cities. So it makes sense to capitalise on the growing hype and write a bout this French brand, with some intriguing results.

The story of Bénédictine begins in the year 1510 in the Abbey of Fécamp, in Normandy, France. Here, the Benedictine monk, Dom Bernardo Vincelli, created a secret medicinal aromatic herbal beverage which was produced until the Abbey’s devastation in the French Revolution. Fast forward to 1863 and a gentleman named Alexandre Le Grand who was a merchant and collector of religious art, discovered the lost recipe for this elixir in his collection.

The story goes that one day in 1863, Alexandre came across the recipe whilst sorting out some very old family papers and came across an old recipe book that has been tucked away in his library for years. The recipe apparently fell into the hands of his family after the French Revolution of 1789 when the last monk was forced to flee the abbey. He is said to have given a member of Alexandre’s family a number of what he considered to be the most precious books, books that had been kept in the family ever since without arousing the slightest curiosity. The book, a manuscript dated 1510, included nearly 200 pages written in Gothic script by a monk by the name of Vincelli. Despite his knowledge of distillation and spirits, it took Alexandre a year to decipher and unravel the secret of the proportions and mixes of the recipe of 27 different plants and spices. After several attempts, Alexandre Le Grand succeeded in reconstituting Vincelli’s recipe that he carefully transcribed into a book.

Palais de la Bénédictine
Palais de la Bénédictine

Once completed, Alexandre obtained the rights to use the name and the coat of arms of the Benedictine Abbey in Fécamp from the Superior of the Benedictine order in Rome. In tribute to Dom Bernardo Vincelli he called his liqueur Bénédictine. He also chose to keep the indication D.O.M., the motto of the Benedictines standing for Deo Optimo Maximo (God infinitely good, infinitely great). Bénédictine is also distilled and aged in a flamboyant palace, built in Fécamp in tribute to this unique liqueur.

The creation of Bénédictine takes two years. Under the watch of the Master Distiller, the mixtures of plants and spices go to make four secret preparations. The process begins by infusing each preparation in super-fine alcohol. Each preparation is then distilled slowly within copper stills, or even double-distilled, depending on the ingredients in it. These initial stages produce four alcoholates, also known as “Esprits”. The four Esprits then age for three months in oak casks. This maturing period allows the essences extracted from the distilled plants and spices to mix together. Once the Esprits have aged separately, they are blended together. This mixture will then rest for eight long months in a large oak barrel. The elaboration process continues with the final blend – honey and an infusion of precious saffron are added. Once added, it is heated to 55°C. The final blend is then aged in large oak barrels for four months. This final ageing process is necessary to put the finishing touch to the subtle balance between the ingredients.

So how does this 2 year process fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Bénédictine D.O.M. – 40%

Light herbal notes on the nose, with a good dose of sweet honey following. Again light on the palate, with a soft texture with hints of herbs and spice. Fresh bursts but a warmth follows to create a lingering finish.

Bénédictine B&B – 40%

Blend between the strength of an old cognac and the 27 plants and spice. A little sweet and aromatic on the nose with lots of honey notes. A light sweetness on the palate too, with the honey giving off a sharp, short finish.

Bénédictine Single Cask – 43%

Very dry on the nose with bursts of fresh, aromatic spices. A sharp start on the palate, with hints of sweetness that dries out before coming back with a mouth-watering effect. Lots of honey and aromatic herbs blend well together to produce a bold, very long finish.

A cracking liqueur on its own, but like I said, one that is becoming rather versatile –

Milk and Honey
Milk and Honey

Milk and Honey

Glass – 

Mug

Ingredients – 

30 ml Bénédictine
Cold Milk
1 Orange slice
1 Cinnamon stick

Method – 

Pour Bénédictine into the glass, add ice, and top up with cold milk. This recipe can also be done with soya milk or hot milk. Garnish with orange slice and cinnamon stick.

It’s not just the D.O.M. expression available, but also a B & B version which became popular after Ernest Hemingway first mentioned blending Bénédictine & Brandy in his short story ” The Mercenaries ” in 1919. Shortly afterwards, Bénédictine & Brandy became the popular call “B&B“ among fine restaurants and clubs in the USA, so in 1937, the Bénédictine Company decided to produce this new brand.

Worthy of inclusion within your drinks cabinet, and a great after dinner treat in your favourite restaurant.

Check out my review of the Bénédictine trip undertaken in October 2013.

© 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.

Galliano Tasting Notes

Galliano

Everyone loves a fancy bottle. Bartenders especially, love to create a drink using something a little quirky, plus it’s always a fantastic talking point. Galliano is no exception.

Created in 1896 by Italian distiller and brandy producer Arturo Vaccari of Livorno, Tuscany, he named his creation after Giuseppe Galliano ‘Maggiore Galliano’, an Italian Hero. According to the Galliano website, ‘Giuseppe Galliano in Christmas 1895, during the 1887 – 1896 Italian campaign in Abyssinia, he spent 44 days holding the Fort of Enda Jesus against an Abyssinian force of some 80,000 troops. He had a force of 2000 hardy soldiers, meaning he was outnumbered by 40 to 1. Some feat. For his efforts he received an immediate promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and a silver medal from the King’.

Arturo Vaccari noticed a gap in the market when it came to honouring fallen heroes, and in 1896, set about creating a new liqueur at his distillery. After a bit of research, Vaccari created a liqueur that, legend has it, was based on a homemade tipple that Galliano always carried into battle. In a nod towards the efforts of Italian’s travelling to America for the Californian gold rush, he also decided his liqueur would be golden in colour.

Vaccari’s efforts paid off when in the 1970’s, Galliano became America’s biggest selling liqueur. The blend of over 30 different herbs, spices, roots, barks and flower seeds (including Mediterranean anise, juniper, musk yarrow, star anise, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon and vanilla) even created one of the worlds most famous cocktails, and with it a legendary story –

A bumbling surf dude called Harvey, who after a few too many Screwdrivers that he had laced with Galliano, found himself bouncing down the hallway to his room. Hence the craze began for that most famous of Galliano cocktails – The Harvey Wallbanger. 

Galliano is also rather unique in its creation, enlisting the help of a tiny premises at Via Cavour, Numero 11, Torino. It was here in 1880, that brothers Riccardo and Pietro Maraschi established their liqueur extracts business involving hydraulic infusions of herbs and spices. Such was the Maraschi brothers’ talent for extracting intense and true flavours and fragrances, that the celebrated collaboration between the liqueur maker and supplier flourished for over 100 years. Maraschi & Quirici are still found in Torino and to this day, Maraschi & Qurici are the sole providers of the ingredients for Galliano.

So how does Galliano fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Galliano L’Autentico – 30%

Fresh nose of soft vanilla and a slight hint of aniseed, although this becomes stronger once onto the palate. Vanilla and liquorice flavours dominate and creates a slight burn near the end.

Not a bad digestif, but Galliano has been used in many a cocktail too –

Livorno Cup
Livorno Cup

Livorno Cup

Glass – 

Wine

Ingredients – 

15 ml Galliano L’Autentico
30 ml Gin
30 ml Martini Rosso
1 Lime squeeze
Top up with ginger beer

Method –

Build ingredients into an ice-filled wine glass. Garnish with a mint twig, orange and lemon slice.

or

Daiquiri Milano

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients –

20 ml Galliano Vanilla
40 ml Light rum
20 ml Fresh grapefruit juice
10 ml Fresh lime juice

Method – 

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a pre-chilled glass. Garnish with a grapefruit zest.

You may have noticed the Daiquiri variation above asks for Galliano Vanilla, created from a demand that some consumers preferred to have a stronger tone of vanilla. Galliano also has one more variation to add to its portfolio – Ristretto. An espresso liqueur that uses two different types of coffee beans as well as a variety of countries used including strong, bitter Robusta beans from Kenya and India blended with the creamy chocolate Arabica coffee beans from Brazil and Colombia.

So for something a little different, Galliano is the way to go, whichever variant you choose.

Check out more photos via my Facebook page.

© 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.

Krupnik Liqueur Tasting Notes

Krupnik is one of those brands you may see all the time on back-bars or cocktail menus, but never bat an eye-lid as it’s rarely seen as a base ingredient to a drink. I myself have been using this honey liqueur for around 4 years now, and it was part of my first self-cocktail creation. Krupnik is rather versatile, and has up to 50 different aromatic spices and herbs as well as its main ingredient of bees honey. The history of this Polish liqueur is rather shrouded in mystery, but here’s a rough guide:

Legend has it that the recipe was created by the Benedictine monks in the 1300’s at a monastery in Niaśviž which was founded by Mikołaj Krzysztof “Sierotka” Radziwiłł. Known in Poland and Lithuania at least since 16th century, it soon became popular among the szlachta of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. There are numerous recipes preserved to our times in countless szlachta diaries. Krupnik was also used as a common medicinal disinfectant to Polish soldiers in World War II.

Based on grain spirit and honey, it is mass-produced and versions consist of 40%-50% (80-100 proof) alcohol, but traditional versions will use 80% – 100% grain alcohol as the base. It is a distant relative of the medovukha (Russian) or miód pitny (Polish), a honey-made spirit popular in all Slavic countries.

Below, I give to you my tasting notes on this centuries old liqueur –

Krupnik – 38%

Bold herbal aromas instantly hit the nose, with a thick honey aroma slowly dominating. The palate enjoys a sweet offering which is rather light and short. Hints of spice linger on the tongue as it nears the end.

As you can imagine, with its versatility, there are plenty of cocktail recipes out their, but this one has caught my eye –

Krupnik – Honey Bee Martini

Creamy Bee Martini

Glass –

Martini

Ingredients –

25 ml Krupnik
25 ml Chambord
25ml Baileys
10ml Goldschlager

Method –

Chill the martini glass. Pour the ingredients into your shaker tin in the order shown and add plenty of ice. Shake until icy cold. Dust the rim of your glass with the cinnamon and then strain in the mixed ingredients. Add a raspberry or two as a garnish.

So if you see Krupnik in your favourite bar, ask your bartender to create you something good using this time-tested liqueur. Disappointed? You wont be.

Check out 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.