Abracadabra and three black cats! That, including a lot of misty fog, is how I imagine the magic spell needed to produce this biological and high percentage juniper schnapps. Because this gin is magical. Oh yes, a colourless gin that changes its colour. In the stoneware bottles, hand-filled and dated, which look as if they had just been stolen from a very old, very wise chemist, the gin is still inconspicuous and transparent.
THE BLUE RUSH –
MYSTICAL MAGIC IN A GLASS
MYSTICAL MAGIC IN A GLASS
Oh how I love a little hocus pocus! And I love gin! Mysticism meets mischief. It’s the most beautiful mixture, and what could be better than indulging in the magic of illusion and experiencing wonder again? The same goes for ‘The Illusionist Dry Gin’ from Munich. I drank it in Berlin, however, at the GREEN AWARDS during the GREENTECH FESTIVAL. I had a bit before the show and a lot after it. I couldn’t help myself! It’s not my fault that the gin is so delicious and even comes in different colours.
THE HIGH-PERCENTAGE CHAMELEON
Abracadabra and three black cats! That, including a lot of misty fog, is how I imagine the magic spell needed to produce this biological and high percentage juniper schnapps. Because this gin is magical. Oh yes, a colourless gin that changes its colour. In the stoneware bottles, hand-filled and dated, which look as if they had just been stolen from a very old, very wise chemist, the gin is still inconspicuous and transparent. It is only in the glass and in combination with ice cubes and acidity, like a tonic soda, that it changes colour. Depending on the mixing ratio the colours can vary from blue to pale pink. We’re talking real colour play. On the website there are also lots of recommendations for beautiful serving options for cocktails with names like BLUE PRIDE or THE DOOR OPENER. Maximilian Muggenthaler and Tim Steglich, the two entrepreneurs of THE ILLUSIONIST DISTILLERY, founded in 2015, have kept quiet about the exact list of ingredients. The only known fact is that an ominous blue flower from a faraway land has to be added for the gin to discolour.
Photo: The Illusionist Distiller
THE MYSTERIOUS PHILOSOPHY
The two friends knew they would need a good story; a damn good USP. Anybody can drink a lot of gin, and happily (Trust me, I know). And with secure careers under their belts (dentist and business economist), to say, “Hey, let’s just start something new from scratch!”, isn’t really very common. Of course, the two had been hobby distillers for years, they had their first spirits made at a small table distillery, and they enjoyed having a round or two with good friends. As is so often the case, the brilliant idea came indirectly. In the case of the two young Munichers, it came via food. The two are united not only by their love for gin, but also for Asian cuisine. And it was when they found this blue, edible and ominous blossom garnishing their Phat Thai or something similar, that an idea was born. Another year passed before the recipe was finally ready and the colour had developed enough to then release the ILLUSIONIST DRY GIN onto the market. In the meantime, the copper pot still plant has grown considerably. But the passion for detail has remained. Each stoneware bottle with its fancy Art Nouveau label is still filled by hand. The market, which is already following in international footsteps by the way, absolutely loves the idea. The taste has been criticised every now and then, reporting it as a little rough on the tongue. I tasted it with ice cubes, and had a very positive experience. Slightly floral, a hint of juniper and Mediterranean herbs, all complemented by bitter orange. And these were not even close to all of the ingredients. But no matter how much I drank, I couldn’t pick out all of the flavours.
Photo: The Illusionist Distillery
BOTANICALS AND ALCOHOL
I’m always a little torn when faced with a well executed magic trick. On one side, I want to know the trick, how it works, but on the other hand, keeping the illusion alive excites me. The fact is that the blue flower and the lavender create the colour. The blue blossom is not only responsible for the colour however, it also adds a delicate, nutty note to the gin. The magical mixture of 16 fine botanicals adds the floral notes. In addition there is juniper, mace, liquorice and angelica. Rosemary, fresh lemons and oranges are also used. Naturally, nothing contains any colorants. And then there are still just under 10 ingredients missing. But hey, maybe you’ll have more luck “tasting” than I did. The next tasting will take place on June 19th, 2019 in the delicatessen department of Galeria Kaufhof at Marienplatz in Munich. And please don’t tell me the trick, if you find out. I prefer to hold on to the illusion.
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