I wrote about Heiko Hoos and some of his products here on the blog some time ago. And indeed, the range of products that come from his forge is now really considerable. If you keep in mind that he is working alone, that is truly remarkable. And that brings me to the introduction of today’s article. (provided test product)*
Because today I have a bottle in front of me, I was really looking forward to review: the Hoos Sal Miakki. As you can easily tell from the name, it is a licorice or salmiak liqueur. And this is a special treat for me, because I really, really like licorice and I find this ingredient totally underrepresented behind the bar. However, you also really have to differentiate: Licorice is not just licorice. Sweet licorice is not really what I think of when I say I like licorice. Rather, I think of really strong, also salty, but especially salmiac-laden licorice, which you don’t always find in every country. The Netherlands and above all the Scandinavian countries have something ahead of us (at least here in Germany) in this matter.
Heiko Hoos now wants to set a liquid monument to this variety of licorice with his Sal Miakki liqueur – and in my opinion, this is the only right approach. For what is commonly found as licorice liqueur on liquor shelves is not worth mentioning here. The “Extra Strong” imprint on the bottle already indicates the high level of sal ammoniac that Hoos uses as the base for his Sal Miakki. At 30% vol., the Sal Miakki then finally enters the bottle.
Aroma: Yes, there is exactly what I love about licorice in the glass here: sal ammoniac, salty associations, anise, light notes of fennel and dark sugar, but also an idea of celery and white pepper.
Taste: surprisingly salty, which I like very, very much. Finally, the sweetness of the liqueur comes through, but from the beginning sal ammoniac is present in abundance and creates a licorice experience of the really absolutely successful kind. Again, some anise comes through.
Finish: long with salty sal ammoniac notes.
In terms of cocktails, I opted for a drink that I discovered some time ago during a random research and that has stuck with me ever since: the so-called Østersø Cola. The drink originally comes from the Lidkøb bar in Copenhagen and consists of lemon juice, vodka, Pimm’s No. 1, Giffard Creme de Peche de Vigne and just a bit of licorice liqueur. Since I’m not a big fan of a vodka component, I changed the Østersø Cola a bit. Instead of the vodka, I use a citrusy gin. In addition, I actually specifically wanted more licorice in the drink, which is why I increased its part a bit.
Recipe “Østersø Cola” (slightly modified version):
4.5 cl citrusy, not too strong gin (e.g. Citadelle).
2 cl Pimm’s No. 1
2 cl Giffard Creme de Peche de Vigne
1 cl Hoos Sal Miakki
2 cl lemon juice
Preparation: Shake all ingredients on ice and pour into glass filled with solid ice.
Garnish: a mint leaf
Buying sources: In specialty stores or online
*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.