The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2016

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Page 48 of 116

48  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2016 LIQUEURS W ith the rise in the trend of clean, healthy eat- ing, mixology has also seen a parallel inter- est in using fresh ingredients in cocktails. While many bartenders would think of fresh-squeezed juice or fruit to mix with their spirits, many also reach for Berentzen's liqueurs to bring natural fruit flavors to elevate their cocktails. Berentzen's is no stranger to the spirits game: The company was founded in the small town of Haselünne, Germany—where it's still based today—by Johann Bernhard Berentzen in 1758. With 250 years of work behind its product, Berentzen liqueurs use all natural, non-GMO fruit sourced from all over Europe. Mark Tucker, Director of Marketing for Vision Wine & Spirits, adds, "Our apple expression has a golden apple flavor, which makes it stand out from other artificially-colored and -flavored apple liqueurs on the market. The pear expression—released in the U.S. in 2006—uses real pears, focusing on sweeter varieties like Forelles and Williams." Wild Cherry, released in 2001, and Peach, released this year, round out the four fruit expressions in the portfolio. The Peach expression is currently carried in 15 states and will be distributed in an additional 10–15 states in 2017. There is also Berentzen Icemint, a 100 proof schnapps that adds a kick to any cocktail. Berentzen liqueurs start with a base spirit of 100% winter wheat, to which the fruit is added. While the apple flavor was traditionally drunk as a shooter alongside a beer or sipped neat, in recent years the liqueur has made an appearance in cocktails across the world, from a twist on an Apple Martini or an updated Washington Apple. The liqueur's versatility means that it works well with either brown or white spirits in a cocktail, allowing for endless creativity. Tucker recommends the peach flavor with a variety of white spirits: "It goes especially well with gin, or great in a number of savory cocktails that have become popular, with ingredients like cucumber or lime juice. I've also seen Negronis made with Berentzen Peach, vermouth and Campari. However, the 15–20% ABV of the fruit liqueurs also make them the perfect easy sippers." Fantastic Fruit PHOTOS COURTESY OF BERENTZEN BERENTZEN LIQUEURS ELEVATE THE COCKTAIL GAME by Jesse Hom-Dawson

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