Recently, I received a package containing three quite interesting and promising product samples. In a way, these are new interpretations (but also innovations), which are also suitable for neat enjoyment, but have most likely been developed primarily with an eye towards the bar. Namely, they are brought out by the renowned bar entrepreneur Stephan Hinz. What they are, what we can expect here and some small background information can be found below. (provided test products)*
Unfortunately, I was only able to access relatively small miniature bottles for this article, which of course somewhat limits the possibility of a more in-depth review. Multiple tastings or cocktail experiments were accordingly limited, so I’ll be a bit briefer in some areas.
First, there is the Camela Aperitivo Amaro, which is recognizable already at first glance as an exciting alternative in the segment of classic, red Italian bitters. The manufacturer advertises this as “A secret tale of oriental spices, pomegranate & bitter orange,” which of course already points to the core. The manufacturer names the ingredients bitter orange, pomegranate, saffron, cardamom, chili, pepper, wormwood herb and ginger. With 19% vol. it turns out somewhat weaker than, for example, a Campari.
Taste-wise, the Camela sets quite exciting accents. I like very well the clear notes of pomegranate, the bitter orange is nicely pronounced and also the announced oriental impact is there. The weaker alcohol content is a bit noticeable, but this should be more of a phenomenon in neat tastings. What I would try with the Camela was immediately clear to me: a Negroni – and I must say that the result is quite appealing to me. You have to be a little careful here to choose the right gin and not to put a gin at the side of the Camela, which itself comes across too exotic and “oriental”, so as not to overdo the whole thing. I don’t want to blanketly rule out the possibility that this could work, but there will certainly be plenty of pitfalls hiding along the way. Personally, I missed a slight portion of bitterness in the final drink, therefore I’d wish for a little bit more.
Recipe „Oriental Negroni“:
3 cl Camela
3 cl gin
3 cl sweet vermouth
Preparation: pour all ingredients in a glass over solid ice, stir briefly and spray with the oil of an orange zest.
Garnish: orange zest
Then there’s the Ricordino “L’Essenza della Dolce Vita.” Here we have an herbaceous, citrusy aperitif made with, well, lemons, but also limes, orange blossom, basil, rosemary, thyme and angelica root. In fact, this aperitif appealed to me the most in the neat tasting. Perhaps it was partly due to the beautiful weather, to which the Ricordino really fits perfectly, but above all it is the successful spicy-fresh characteristic that appeals to my personal taste very much. Of course, there are countless possibilities here to use the Ricordino in drinks as well. Especially in combination with gin, champagne & Co. I decided – the sunshine simply invited me to do it – for a combination with tonic water and fresh mint:
Add 5 cl Ricordino and some mint leaves to a highball glass on ice, top up with tonic, done.
And last but not least remains the Kalyx “Elixir Vivant”. This aperitif relies heavily on fruity notes and thus naturally serves a niche that is currently in demand. Roses, hibiscus, raspberries, grapefruit, oranges, lemon verbena, wormwood herb and violet roots were used in the pink spirit. This aperitif does not meet my personal taste completely, however, I am well aware that I am not part of the primary target audience. Here, too, I would – similar to the Ricordino – reach for rather summery combinations with gin or champagne.
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.