In A Nutshell

Kammerling’s Ginseng Spirit

If you think the bottle is different from any other spirit on the market – just wait ’til you get to the taste: herbal and citrussy with a whack of bitter honey, Kammerling’s is deliciously daring and delightfully refreshing – a British barman’s take on the Italian aperitif.

TCL RATING: 

 

 

 

What He Says:

Kammerling’s over ice

“Historically, many medicines were based on alcohol infused with natural botanicals (this encapsulated the flavour of the ingredients, preserved them and delivered the required health benefit). With this in mind and taking inspiration from my two big spirit loves gin and bitters, I set to work to create a unique, versatile and delicious spirit that had a lighter alcohol content than the regular 40% abv.”

What We Say:

Yesiree, there certainly is something of the medicine cabinet about Kammerling’s. Not in a sweet, cloying Benylin kind of way, more of the natural herbal concoctions associated with Ayuverda or that bitter hit you get from Bach Flower Essences. Actually, the taste that springs to mind when we first try it is that crushed plant effect that comes from sipping Fernet-Branca.

Ms S

I won’t lie, I’ve never been one for those bitter drinks like Campari, so on my first sip my receptors tell me I won’t be making a habit of ordering Kammerling’s at the bar. That said, I’m intrigued by its complexity and can’t help taking another sip, then another and another and before I know it, the contents of the glass have gone. The ice helps. Once it does its thing and takes the edge off that initial uber dry hit, it opens the drink up to reveal layers of herbal multiplicity that urge you to try more. It’s the clever combo of 45 natural botanicals that does it – while Mr Kammerling says its origins are gin-based, opting to use four types of ginseng root plus other healthy goodies like echinacea, Ginko Biloba and goji berries propels it in to a whole new category altogether.

Other than the recommended over ice with a twist of lemon, we tried our sample size in one cocktail, The First Word (see below). You get the aroma of Kammerling’s upfront and in the finish of the drink and while the dryness is still apparent, this particular recipe enhances the bitter sweet characteristics rather nicely thank you very much.

Mr G

It certainly has a lot going on and rewards taking a few considered sips – each bringing another intriguing taste and subsequently adding depth. There’s also definitely something of the medicinal about it and over ice it felt like it would be well worth considering after a late dinner to offer something of a restorative nature to the overindulgent diner.

It worked well in the cocktail we tried – being neither too up front nor disappearing into obscurity. It’s this well balanced characteristic that makes me want to try it in a few more cocktails. As a fan of occasionally adding  a bar spoon of Fernet Branca to a Manhattan I will definitely be experimenting with this as an alternative.

Fun Fact:

2004 was a big year for Alex: he published a cocktail book, started working for Grey Goose Vodka and had two babies: one, a little girl; the other was the birth of the idea for Kammerling’s Gingseng Spirit. Father and children are all doing very well.

Recipes:

On The Rocks

Method:
Pour over ice and stir. Garnish with lemon peel.

With Bitter Lemon

50ml Kammerling’s
150ml bitter lemon, lemonade or any citrusy drink

Method:
Build over cubed ice in a highball glass and garnish with lemon wedge.

Adam & Eve

50ml Kammerling’s
75ml lychee juice
75ml grapefruit juice

Method:
Build over cubed ice in a highball glass and garnish with lemon wedge.

The First Word

The First Word

50ml Kammerling’s
25ml lemon juice
2 bar spoons maraschino liqueur
2 bar spoons sugar syrup
Dash egg white

Method:
Shake and strain into coupette glass and garnish with lemon zest.

Taste (probably more with a few more tastes)
Packaging 
Desirability 
Value 

The Details:

33% ABV. 50cl bottle, £18.79 from thedrinkshop.com

More details from kammerlings.com

 

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