Discover Gin and Tonic · Gin Blog

Welcome to an article about what my gin buddy @Ginfluencers and I discovered at the 2019 Bar Convent Berlin. There are so many spirits and launches that it will be impossible to cover all of it, however we tried to gather a few things.

The last time for the Bar Convent Berlin to take place in the location near Gleisdreieck in Berlin

Monday · First impressions and new De Kuyper liqueurs

Welcome Sunshine, welcome to Bar Convent 2019. Fever-Tree Deckchairs welcome us right at the entrance

As we got to the show just in time and the queue was long but moving fast it was nice to see the sun was something we could enjoy during the day on some deckchairs. In theory but we never had time to do so. However I always saw people enjoying a few minutes of relaxation in the chairs next to the Fever-Tree Bar at the entrance.

First stop: De Kuyper liqueuers: Acqua Bianca and Dutch Cacao launch

Pretty much our first stop was at the De Kuyper booth where we were looking forward to tasting the new liqueurs created in partnership with Jörg Meyer from Hamburg (Bar Le Lion, Boilerman Bar) and the so called cocktail maestro Salvatore Calabrese. Furthermore three other liqueurs were introduced to the German market as well: Muyu.

Muyu liqueurs launched in Germany

Bartender trio Alex Kratena, Monica Berg, and Simone Caporale developed a set of liqueurs with De Kuyper to make the genre more interesting for  bartenders again. Based on a process close to that of perfume development they created a recipe each: Jasmine Verte, Chinotto Nero and Vetiver Gris.

Dutch Cacao and Acqua Bianca

Following the Muyu launch in Germany, the next creation revealed was the Dutch Cacao developed in association with Hamburg's Jörg Meyer, creator of the Gin Basil Smash.

The liqueur is an intense clear cacao flavour. It comes with almost savoury aromas and is what a real cacao should taste like to my mind. Not some over-sweet artificial representation. Just served on the rocks it is a tasty desert drink and certainly makes for a range of cocktails which were created later that days as well.

Ingredients in this white créme de cacao are vanilla, Indonesian cacao, cinnamon and arrack. This product just uses enough sugar to be a great partner in dry drinks and to work in classic cocktails. It will be available in Germany from November on.

The Acqua Bianca by Salvatore Calabrese is the second product we got to try. With Italian energy and charm the creator presented the bottle, designed by his daughter, resembling a book to some extent. And the family is even more part of the product: It uses lemons from the Amalfi coast where he lives. Cidron, one of the oldest varieties of citrus as well as Calabrian bergamot from his families origins. Beyond that an essence of ambergris is used, usually a perfume component. The base for his recipe is an old recipe he found which he changed to make it compatible with today's taste and demands. According to Calabrese it is unique in a way that it brings so many facets to a liqueur, not just one taste direction or ingredient.

Both liqueurs are at 24 % ABV by the way. Cocktails created with these are to be found a bit further down the article.

Next stop food pairing with Gin Mare

With my wife being a big Gin Mare fan, I gladly joined in to visit the food pairing at the Gin Mare booth. A tasty Gin Mare cocktail paired with some roasted Iberico meat smelled and looked amazing. I could barely take pictures before the delicious match disappeared from the small wooden serving bowls.

A small thing next: Hayman's legendary innovation

Up next we used the chance to try a newly introduced product (to the German market that is): The Hayman's Small gin.

With so many makers moving forward to new no- or low-ABV spirits and drinks, Hayman's have created something super interesting: A super densely loaded gin, which uses manyfold the amount of botanicals per distillation and has a slightly higher ABV (43 % instead of 41.2 %). The result is a pack-jammed flavour bomb which can be used at only 20% the amount than a regular Gin in a G&T. That makes for a very low total ABV in a cocktail.

We tried both gins in a comparable mixing ratio and the result is amazing. You get the taste of a full fledged gin and tonic but at a much lower alcohol content. A perfect way to respond to the market asking for new products with less or no alcohol. This one does not pretend to be something, it is a real gin: You just need less. The cute thimble which comes with the bottle and is exactly the size for a gin and tonic. Super cute and original.

Oh, and did I mention the funniest thing yet? We tried it in a small bar which is a bar where you need to get in through a bar door that is approximately 70 cm tall. Get down :)

Humboldt Rye Dry Gin and Humboldt Freigeist

More low alcohol: Humboldt Freigeist

Over on Instagram I reported from the UNDONE launch a while ago. Now we stumbled upon the successor or complimentary product to the Humboldt Rye Gin a German play on the word alkoholfrei: Humboldt Freigeist. As much as I appreciate the amazing take on a gin with the Rye Gin, the Freigeist could not convince me really. To little aroma and intensity, none of that "signature rye' flavor. But try it for yourself.

Food pairing with Rutte and De Kuyper

In the evening we traveled to the Orania.Berlin Bar and Restaurant to see some cocktails made with the new liqueurs paired with some small bites which were created to complement the flavor profile of the cocktails.

I must say we really enjoyed the location, the music and the hospitality. With a master of his trade bartender Philip Bischoff of the Four Seasons in Bangkok mixing cocktails it was nothing but a stellar evening of great drinks and great conversations.

Orania.Berlin where the food pairing and cocktail mixing of BCB Day 1 took place

Cocktail creations using Dutch Cacao and Rutte Gins

A few impressions of the cocktails created with the new liqueurs of De Kuyper and with the Rutte products could only be captured in photos. But let me assure you that they did taste excellent.

With the beet root cocktail being my absolute favourite of the evening I must say it was great fun seeing the new products brought to life in these fine creations. It is always easy to say that one has created new building blocks for drinks, but this was more than proof. Delicious proof.

I am sure that we will see more of the liqueurs in use soon, certainly when we enter the bar Le Lion one of these days and just shout 'Ciao …!' …

Thanks for the opportunity to join the evening and the launch of these products, which for me personally was great as the connection to Rutte had been established over a year ago with meeting and talking to their master distiller Myriam Hendrickx multiple times.

Three days at Bar Convent Berlin

The GinGinGin transparency declaration

I was invited to Bar Convent Berlin by Fever-Tree Germany to cover some of the action on one of the days and by De Kuyper to join some of their launches and events as well. I am happy to announce this paid partnership as I can certainly stand behind the products by them. In the past I have talked about the products as well without being paid and hope to make this as transparent as possible by giving you this long 'disclaimer'. There are and were no obligations nor any edits of this content by the companies inviting me to cover BCB with / for them.

Products tasted and reviewed by GinGinGin are all equally treated, paid for or free samples. If we like gins we buy them afterwards as well. If we do not like them you will read about it as well. When people ask if we would like to review a bottle, it is the first thing we mention to them that this does not guarantee a positive review. Get in touch to know more about reviews of gins. #Advertising / #Werbung