Wolfschmidt Kummel - 1970s (39%, 57cl)

Old Spirits Company

Wolfschmidt Kummel - 1970s (39%, 57cl)
  • Wolfschmidt Kummel - 1970s (39%, 57cl)
  • Wolfschmidt Kummel - 1970s (39%, 57cl)
  • £90.00

Era:  1970s
ABV:  39%
Volume:  57cl

First believed to have been produced by Lucas Bols (1652-1719) in 1675 in Netherlands, kummel (or kümmel, if you prefer), a clear spirit predominantly flavoured by caraway, was exported to Germany and Russia.  Kümmel was produced in the early 19th century by Wilhelm von Blanckenhagen (1761–1840), who owned land around Allasch which included a pure and reliable water source. In the mid-19th Century, it was the rival of gin. Being made with caraway rather than juniper, it had one main advantage: caraway has a calmative effect, reducing flatulence and the bloated feeling experienced after a heavy meal. By 1850, this "medicinal" benefit helped Ludwig Mentzendorff create a healthy business importing kümmel to Britain.  During the 1905 Russian Revolution the Blanckenhagen mansion was burned down. The distillery closed, and the entrepreneurial Mentzendorffs opened up the production of their own kümmel in France. Baltic Germans moved to Germany as tensions between Russia and Germany grew, and several distilleries in Germany produced their own versions of kümmel, where it is still known as Allasch and is a popular digestif.  Russia which is the world's principal consumer of kümmel.

Here's one for your party trivia: The words kümmel, kummel, and kimmel are somewhat generic terms in German, Dutch, and Yiddish, respectively, meaning both caraway and cumin.

It could be argued that this is a forgotten spirit, but it's historical influence and presence in classic cocktails should not be ignored.

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