Not so long ago, a friend wrote me a message and asked me, if it would not be a cool idea to make a drink called “Quarantini”. It would certainly be a funny idea in times of the pandemic. Now, I have to explain that said friend is not familiar with cocktails or spirits at all. However, he wasn’t that surprised when I replied, “There’s been a gin by that name for quite a while.” – That’s just how it is sometimes: good and creative ideas come from various sides. (provided test product)*
The story behind Quarantini Social Dry Gin is told relatively quickly: As a reaction to the widespread closures in the gastronomic industry, Boris Markic, who is now responsible for the brand Quarantini Social Dry Gin as Managing Director, came up with the idea in collaboration with Felix Georg Kaltenthaler (whom many may know through Revolte Rum) to launch a gin in which each bottle sold would bring in an amount of 5 euros as a donation for small catering businesses in need. Thus, within 1.5 years, more than 175,000 euros in donations were collected, which contributed to the survival of the gastronomic industry in Germany.
In the meantime, however, a new purpose has been decided upon, which is to further fill the label “Social Dry Gin” with life: Each bottle sold is to supply one person in a developing country with drinking water for an entire year. For this purpose, the company is now cooperating with the non-profit organization Viva con Agua, which uses the proceeds to build wells in Zambia. Of course, this is still a very laudable approach. The background to this was the manufacturers’ original consideration to take the Quarantini completely off the market (“mission accomplished”). But a survey among steady customers moved Boris Markic and his team to rethink, as co-founder Galyna Sheremata explained to me.
But for those who are now interested in the contents of the Quarantini and would like to know exactly how this gin tastes, it should first be said that an explicitly fruity program has been chosen here. In addition to juniper, angelica and violet root and coriander seeds, papaya, bergamot and bitter orange were selected as botanicals. With an abv of 42% the Quarantini Social Dry Gin is finally bottled.
Tasting Notes “Quarantini”:
Aroma: My colleague Matthias from augustine-bar.de once described the Quarantini Gin as a true tiki gin. And when you bring the glass to your nose, you immediately realize why: a potpourri of exotic fruit tones rises here. In addition to the programmatic papaya, I also find associations of mango and guava, but also lime and orange is immediately perceptible. The spicy notes of bergamot also break through and, in combination with the very subtle underpinning of juniper, create the impression of a fruity New Western Dry Gin par excellence.
Taste: The fruity characteristics of this gin are also immediately apparent on the palate. Papaya, some bitter orange, but also fruity ginger and associations of vanilla are on board. The spicy notes of Quarantini are rather more subtle compared to some powerful juniper bombs and underline the fruity notes, but this is also in the spirit of what the gin is supposed to represent. Some white pepper comes through, plus hints of lemon peel.
Finish: relatively long and surprisingly spicy here.
Yes, the Quarantini is definitely a convincing representative of a fruity New Western genre. And it is all the more interesting now that a new representative of the Quarantini brand has seen the light of day these days: the Quarantini Rosé Gin.
The name Rosé seems already at first glance at the bottle very appropriately chosen. The delicate pink or “rosé”-colored liquid in it is certainly the first thing you pay attention to. But what exactly is so special about this new addition to the Quarantini house? In fact, here for the first time they have said goodbye to the papaya as a base botanical (in other bottlings, for example the Quarantini Black, this is also included) and relies in addition to juniper on raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, hibiscus and pink grapefruit. “Fruity” thus remains quite clearly the finger pointing also in this bottling. But just berry-fruity, which is perhaps a bit less “tiki”, but – in my view – a fairly logical expansion into the colorful world of fruit varieties.
42% vol. also offer a little bit more than the 40 “standard percent” usually found on the market, so in this respect one remains true to the drinking strength of the Quarantini.
Tasting Notes “Quarantini Rosé Gin”:
Aroma: Yes, this one is new and different. Compared to the standard Quarantini, the berry notes show up immediately and very prominently. And they are really authentically and aromatically integrated in an extremely pleasing way; Felix Georg Kaltenthaler has once again demonstrated his skills here. Hibiscus and pink grapefruit play more of an accompanying role and don’t push themselves too much into the foreground, so they don’t steal the show from the berries jumping around joyfully. The juniper is present, but again, there is no “juniper bomb” here, one remains true to the New Western style.
Taste: On the palate, the expectation is confirmed and again it is the berry tones that are prominent here. I also particularly like the blueberry note, which is not often found in gin; in any case, the usually very harmonious liaison of blackberry and raspberry with juniper also succeeds brilliantly in Quarantini Rosé Gin. In fact, hibiscus and grapefruit bring associations of rosé vermouth with them – whether this is due to the name and the accompanying subtle influence on my associations, or is actually evident in taste, I cannot say with absolute certainty. But that doesn’t matter, because I really like the Quarantini Rosé.
Finish: again relatively long and with a spicy note, a certain “house character” is evident here.
For the Quarantini Rosé Gin, the makers recommend a drink called “Violet Rosie”, which is more or less Quarantini Rosé Gin, Schweppes Wildberry and a small float of Quarantini Black Gin. I have to admit that the drink does not quite meet my taste, as I actually find it rather a pity to slam the beautiful and authentic berry notes of the Rosé Gin in front of the artificial-sticky berry flavors from the house of Schweppes, but well: visually, of course, the drink makes its point because of a nice effect – and I do not want to withhold it here:
Recipe “Violet Rosie”:
4-5cl Quarantini Rosé Gin
1 cl Quarantini Black Gin
Preparation: pour Quarantini Rosé Gin into your glass filled with fresh ice, top with Schweppes Wildberry and finally float gently with the Quarantini Black Gin. Stir before drinking.
To give the berry notes of the Quarantini Rosé a little more chance to show what they’re made of, I opted for a variation of a Gin Smash. For this, I shook a little fresh rosemary, lemon juice and selfmade woodruff syrup and poured it in the glass for a spring-like drink. The recipe is quite simple, the only issue might be that woodruff is not a thing everyone will have on the balcony. So if you’re looking for premade woodruff syrup, make sure to avoid the bright green artificial stuff and watch out for quality syrup with authentical taste.
Rosemary Woodruff Smash recipe:
6 cl Quarantini Rosé Gin
3 cl lemon juice
2 cl selfmade woodruff syrup
1 sprig of rosemary, the leaves plucked off
Let approx. 6 stalks of woodruff wither for a day, this will develop its typical aroma. Finally, add about 400g of sugar to 250 ml of water in a pan together with the plucked woodruff leaves and bring to a simmer. Then remove from heat and let cool. Finally, leave to infuse for two days in an airtight container. Then filter out the woodruff leaves through a fine sieve and that’s it.
Preparation: Put all ingredients in a shaker and press a little with the muddler. Finally, shake vigorously over ice and then be sure to double-strain into the pre-chilled glass over fresh, solid ice.
Garnish: a whorl of woodruff (whorls are what those flower stalks are called – at least I hope so – with about six to eight leaflets hanging from each.)
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online
*The fact that these products have 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.