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Calabrese creates aromatic liqueur with De Kuyper

Dutch drinks firm De Kuyper has teamed up with bartenders Salvatore Calabrese and Joerg Meyer to launch two new “modern” liqueurs designed to “innovate and premiumise the category”.

L-r: Salvatore Calabrese, Mark de Witte, Joerg Meyer

The two liqueurs, called Acqua Bianca and Dutch Cacao, were unveiled at the Bar Convent Berlin show this week (7-9 October).

Described as “one of the most aromatic liqueurs available on the market”, Acqua Bianca was developed by Calabrese of The Donovan Bar at luxury London hotel Brown’s.

To create the liqueur, Calabrese used ingredients from the land and sea including three types of citrus: lemons from Calabrese’s home, the Amalfi Coast in Italy, bergamot from Calabria, where his family is from, and cidron, one of the oldest varieties of citrus.

The 24% ABV expression is also made with the essence of ambergris, which is traditionally used to make perfume, and is said to give the liqueur a “more intense taste”.

Calabrese modified a recipe from a late 1800s book to create Acqua Bianca. It is described as “fresh with citrus and mint with a gentle sweet and floral note of rose”.

“My idea was to create something totally unusual that does not exist in the market, something very versatile, a liqueur to inspire new cocktails, a liqueur that is able to take the centre stage of any cocktail creation,” explained Calabrese. “Thanks to the superb expertise of De Kuyper’s master blender we were able to transform my idea into this masterpiece.”

It is recommended served chilled over ice, neat from the freezer or in cocktails.

Calabrese’s daughter Francesca and her design agency Five Foot Eight created the bottle design, which resembles a book. The label is on the side of the bottle to replicate the spine of a book. Custom moulding has also been added to replicate the pages of a book.

‘Revolutionise’ liqueurs

Mark de Witte, CEO of De Kuyper Royal Distillers, added: “We are very proud of this high point of our longtime friendship with Salvatore Calabrese and we are convinced that Acqua Bianca will revolutionise the liqueurs category.”

Acqua Bianca will be available in the UK at the end of November through Cellar Trends, with further markets to follow. It is priced at €28.95 (US$32) per 500ml.

Meyer, bartender and owner of Le Lion, Bar de Paris and Boilerman Bar, co-created Dutch Cacao (24% ABV), a white créme de cacao. It is a blend of cacao beans from Indonesia, Bourbon vanilla, cinnamon and Indonesian arrack.

The aim was to use “as little sugar as necessary to become the right partner for dry drinks and high-quality spirits”.

A fan of classic cocktails, Meyer created the new liqueur to honour and compliment “elegant and timeless” drinks such as the 20th Century Cocktail, the Mariposa Fizz and the Gin Alexander.

“Besides refining classic cocktails we are convinced, that Dutch Cacao will significantly influence the creation of new inspiring cocktails across the world”, said de Witte.

Dutch Cacao is available to buy in Germany from November for €29.99 (US$33) per 700ml before rolling out to other countries.

The new expressions follow the launch of Muyu earlier this year, a series of three liqueurs created by bartenders Monica Berg, Simone Caporale and Alex Kratena.

“The co-creation of liqueurs with leading bartenders is a key pillar of our global strategy and an important part of how we want to innovate and lead and premiumise the liqueur category,” said de Witte.

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