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‘Forgotten’ liqueur Bentianna launches in UK

Bentianna, a herbal liqueur that dates back to the 15th century, is now available in the UK after a Slovakian bartender “rediscovered” its long-lost recipe.

Bentianna has been lost to the spirits world for over 500 years

The original drink was created by Benedictine monks based on their knowledge of healing herbs. When their monastery in the High Tatra mountains of Slovakia burnt down, the original recipe was lost in the fire.

After many years of searching, Joseph Benjamin Benian, a prominent Slovak mixologist, rediscovered “threads” of the recipe after studying family records and historical documents. Wanting to deliver a drink that would “exceed common expectations, while staying true to the original recipe”, he came up with Bentianna in 2012, which has “changed the limitations and style of contemporary cocktails”.

Although the recipe has been “balanced and enriched” from its original form, the basics remain the same and the liqueur consists entirely of purely natural ingredients. The drink is a balanced composition of honey, 13 hand-picked herbs, yellow gentian root, sweet grapes and Tokai wine.

The tasting notes indicate that the drink has a “sweetness of intense forest honey and raisin extract”. The tartness of the herbs and the juiciness of the grapes turn into flavours of orange peel and grapefruit, leaving a slight bitterness on the palate.

The liqueurs category looks set for a renaissance, with Euromonitor figures pointing to value growth of 1.9%, and volume uplifts of 1.6% in 2016.


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