Today’s drink is a very special one for me, because it was the first drink I have ordered and enjoyed on my first visit at the Bar Le Lion in Hamburg. The name of the cocktail seems somewhat unusual, but there is a nice little backstory on that, which I also want to briefly tell here.
Jörg Meyer has once told the complete backstory of the drink on his Bitters Blog (German language), which is why I do not want to tell the same story again in such a detailed form. But at least the basics should be mentioned here, because they are after all inextricably linked to the cocktail:
One day, sociologist Prof. Dr. Hans Langnickel from the German city of Cologne visited the Le Lion and asked the award-winning bartender Mario Kappes for a personal recommendation (who has by now turned his back on the Le Lion, after many years of bartending there, in order to become the new brand ambassador for Borco Markenimport). During that time, Mr. Kappes liked experimenting around a bit with Sherry (maybe he still does until the present day) and finally the Professor Langnickel cocktail was born that night. The honor to name the drink after the guest of course is not very usual. The reason for this was the fact that Mr. Langnickel himself turned out to be very much into bartending, bar culture and the history of cocktails himself. Until the present day he is operating his own bar together with his wife in Nippes, a district of Cologne.
Personally, I have become aware of the drink through the Bitters Blog by Mr. Mayer, but also because of a small video episode by OhGosh.tv. I have added the video, in which Mario Kappes is personally presenting his cocktail, at the end of this article.
So when I have been to Hamburg for the first time and I wanted to order a drink at the Le Lion, I did not find the Professor Langnickel on the regular bar menu at that time. But after asking for it and finally tasting it, I was absolutely struck down by its flavor. The taste was so wonderfully complex and beautiful that I fell in love with the drink immediately. The drink is characterized by a very full-bodied complexity, with rich tones of dark sherry and a very aromatic sweetness; the complex and subtle hints of fruit stones in combination with a fruity, yet tartly sweet cherry is merely wonderful. With a subtle chocolate grace and its multifacetedness the drink is simply amazing!
Accordingly, I had to get my own hands on the ingredients for the cocktail, but this is not necessarily easy, especially with regard to the Guignolet de Dijon, because it is not as readily available on the German market. You have to search for it a little longer until you will find an appropriate dealer who offer this liqueur. However, I can definitely confirm that the drink is only working with the ingredients listed below. Substituting them will most likely result into a drink of lower quality.
3 cl Morand Kirsch Vieux
2 cl Guignolet de Dijon by Gabriel Boudier
2 cl Pedro Ximénez Monteagudo Sherry
Preparation: Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice until cold and strain into your pre-chilled glass. Spray the oil from the lemon peel over the drink, then discard it.
Garnish: Three Griottines cherries
Buying sources: In order to get your hands on the needed ingredients you will certainly have to visit a specialized liqueur dealer. I recommend to make a phone call first in order to ask for availability.