The Aviation Project – Bar am Steinplatz can do without Gin
The Aviation journey continues. It starts with juniper, heads in the direction of sweet-sourness and finally lands with a subtle lingering floral finish. This story is about a lot of juniper because the Gin has been replaced by a pure juniper distillate.
Bar am Steinplatz is a famous Hotel Bar and has won the Mixology Bar Award for best Hotel Bar in Germany twice. They always surprise their guests with innovative and creative concepts. Recently they launched their new creative menu which I have already written about.
There are bars that have this “favourite bar character” at first sight. Bars where you feel welcome and the bar team cares for you.
The personal character of this Hotel Bar is underlined just by its entrance. A very beautiful one by the way. The elegant ambience is shaped by the perfect combination of modern Art-Deco elements with the flair of the golden 1920s. A soon as you enter the bar you are surrounded by marble, shining black surfaces and leather seats bathed in a golden light. The spirit selection and the menu are innovative and well selected. You will not find any Gin in the back bar. The current Gin movement is more and more characterised by exotic and unusual flavours rather than the original juniper, and there are numerous varieties on the market. Christian Gentemann, the bar manager of Bar am Steinplatz, banished all of them from the shelves and replaced them with a local juniper distillate. All gin based drinks have been newly mixed and adapted to the flavour profile of pure juniper. I was quite curious about his individual adjustment and the product he is using for an Aviation. To come straight to the point, here is Christian Gentemann’s delicious recipe:
25 ml Lemon juice
10 ml Maraschino Luxardo
5 ml Bigallet Creme de Violette
“A delicate drink like this must be stirred not shaken” says Christian Gentemann. So, this Aviation is stirred and served with a frozen cherry, washed and free of any syrup.
I didn’t want to compare all the Aviations I had had so far but after my talk to Gonçalo de Sousa Monteiro and tasting his Aviation I have gained a better understanding of the character of the drink. The Aviation is one of the most difficult drinks to understand and to get the balance right.
Christian Gentemann has transferred the complexity and balancing difficulty into what an Aviation should be.
The drink was dry, slightly bitter due to the pure juniper, perfectly balanced with the lemon and rounded off with the violet liqueur. So wonderful!
He used Eversbusch Doppelwachholder, a pure juniper distillate with 46 Vol.% from the Westphalian region in Germany. According to the traditional and unchanged family tradition, the spirit is distilled in a copper still from the year 1817, so it has already been in use for 200 years. During the distillation juniper berries are boiled in a rye distillate, so that the alcohol is infused with the aroma, it is then cooled after evaporation. The next day the second distillate is burned, where other ingredients are added, these are not disclosed, as they have been part of the family secret recipe since 1817. The juniper berries come from Tuscany and have come from the same importer for several generations, supplying the distillery exclusively with top quality berries. The characteristic flavour, the strong yet soft taste, depends largely on this quality and of course on the amount of juniper berries processed. The heavy stone bottle and the old-fashioned label indicate that the history of the Eversbusch distillery dates from a long way back. Founded in 1780 the company is now run by the seventh generation of the family. They do not use any chemicals and use 100% hyro-electric power. A local products that is made with high quality and in harmony with nature. Peter Eversbusch is responsible for the production of the spirits and the new signature drink of the family, which is, you can certainly guess, the Aviation. When he saw my stories about this almost forgotten drink on Instagram, he sent me his recipe for the Westphalian Aviation Cocktail:
5 cl Eversbusch Doppelwachholder
1 cl Lemon Juice
1 cl Giffard Maraschino
1 cl Bigallet Creme de Violette
Here you can watch how he replaces gin of some famous classics with Doppelwachholder/ juniper distillate. It is only available in German. Thank you Peter, for sharing your recipe and pictures with me.
to be continued …