Drinkultour is a little trade show organised by Zurichs famous Kaufleuten club. It took place yesterday, and focused on Swiss, young beverage brands. I was there working for Silverbogen, who distribute Gin Mare.
Generally speaking, the entire show was very typical of Zurich: It was impeccably organised, including DJs and stone-oven pizzas. For all the products, it was obvious that considerable effort had been put into the branding and contemporary design. Heaps of gin, little else. Everything of good quality, but everything way too expensive. My personal favourite: the nginious! summer gin!
I’m very looking forward to future renditions of Drinkultour. I think it’s great to have a platform to present local, quality products, and I am very excited to see more products like these. Read below about what I found noteworthy!
Drinkultour Zurich and the Gins
I had tasted Turicum gin before: It’s a decent gin that is a tad to floral for my taste. However, it has a strong story behind it, being made in Zurich with lime-tree blossoms coming from a famous park (Lindenhof), and a very dedicated team to push the story. Zurich loves Zurich, so I have no doubt that they will be very successful in Zurich.
Ferdinand’s Saar gin is made in the Saarland region of Germany, and adds a little portion of Riesling wine to its gin. I find it extremely well balanced, innovative but staying true to the juniper. They also make a distiller’s cut, prohibitively expensive (150 CHF for 500 ml), but quite possibly the best gin I’ve tasted so far. It is bottled at 49%, and has three additional botanicals: acacia, pears from the Saarland region, and raisins. The raisins are made from the same grapes that make the wine that is added to this gin in this case.
Finally, we come to nginious! It is made in Switzerland as well, and yesterday they presented their summer gin. It features dried peaches, rhubarb and jasmine as the key botanicals. While I found the juniper was only detectable on the nose, the palate presented a big, big blast of juicy peaches with some lime joining in. The finish is quite peppery. It is definitely a Western style gin in which the juniper plays only a secondary role, but I expect some awesome cocktails can be made with it. Love to try a White Lady or the obvious Gin Derby with that one!
The producer also hinted at their plans for their winter gin due to launch in September, which I think sounded quite spectacular. Maybe we’ll have a little post here in the weeks ahead…!
Other Spirits at Drinkultour Zurich
Then we have Green Velvet, an absinthe designed in Zurich, produced in the Val de Travers. Extremely nice packaging. They make a bleue (with lemon balm) and a verte (with sweet wood) style, both of which I found decent, but lacking complexity. Seeing that they are ridiculously expensive (100 CHF for 700 ml of the verte), I cannot recommend them for cocktails nor sipping.
There was also a Swiss whisky brand called Langatun, producing all styles of Bourbon, rye and malt whiskies in the canton of Berne. I tasted their Bourbon, and two of their malt whiskies, both of which were surprisingly good and could be easily mistaken for the real deal. This is especially exciting since they only started making whisky 10 years ago, which means there’s more interesting stuff to come. Definitely worth checking out if Swiss-ness is something you go for.
Also from Bern we have Ingwerer, a spiced ginger liqueur. The mix of ginger, apple, cinnamon and cloves isn’t terribly innovative; but it is well-done, and might inspire some interesting drinks.
Which leaves us with Belsazar vermouth, which I had tasted before. I think they are great products, but too fruity and intense for cocktails where vermouth takes a supporting role. I think you can make the most fantastic Roof Garden Coolers with the Belsazar Dry, but a Negroni with the Belsazar Red is a challenge. They did, however, present a very nifty toy: A branding stick for the orange zests! Check out the pictures below!
Soft Drinks at Drinkultour
I only visited the stand of Herr Rizzi. The selection was quite overwhelming, with the very recommendable Herbal Moskow ginger soda being the only product I knew already. I’m not a good reference when it comes to sodas, because I find them all too sweet. That being said, I think Herr Rizzi’s selection of sodas is of great quality across the board.
Two drinks in particular caught my interest: Muntermate, which has a lot more of the true earthy Mate aromas than the famous Club Mate; and the Talent teas. The latter are cold brewed tea with some small portion of agave syrup and lemon juice. While I would have prefered the tea without any additives, they use decent teas to make their products. Certainly the best ice tea you can get without making it yourself.