From the Woods – Gretchen Gin

There is a few new products from the renown German eau de vie distiller Schladerer. They had their 175-year anniversary in 2019 and in the merge of that they launched a gin and an apéritif. While a green version of the Vincent Aperitif was shortly available in the 2000s, the Gretchen Gin dates back to a recipe from 1947 from Alfred Schladerer. So, it is just logic to combine both products in a summery Highball style cocktail.

As the story goes, Alfred Schladerer created a gin for his wife Greta in 1947. Through this handwritten recipe the current CEO Philipp Schladerer was inspired to create the Gretchen Gin. Named after Greta Schladerer’s nickname, it consists of 18 Botanicals which are not specifically listed, it is just mentioned that the gin contains essences of berries, blossoms and herbs. Afterwards the gin is finished off with a quince eau de vie and spruce sprouts and bottled at an ABV of 44 %. The Vincent Aperitif however, is a new version of a green apéritif Schladerer introduced about twenty years ago. Yet, in this version it consists of macerated herbs and raspberry eau de vie with natural colouring from violet carrots.

Not at all a New Western Gin!

Almost surprisingly, the Gretchen Gin comes off as a relatively classic gin. There are a lot of herbs and spices with noticeable juniper notes. Yet, after this initial impression you detect more fruity notes, for example raspberries and apples. All in all, it is a rather balanced dry gin which I can imagine works well in all sorts of classic gin cocktails. Johann from Cocktailbart for instance, likes to use it in all sorts of Martinis.

Not your classic apéritif

If you expect the the Vincent Aperitif to be similar to Aperol, you will be surprised! It is quite different from what you would expect. There is a slight bitterness, but the dominant notes are raspberries. On top of that you can find some vegetal flavours almost reminding me of the violet carrots used to colour the apéritif. In conclusion, I like the Vincent Aperitif very much, because it is different from other Aperitifs and on top only uses natural ingredients.

Gin and Aperitif Swizzle

Obviously, I tried to combine the Gretchen Gin and the Vincent Aperitif in a cocktail, which mind come off as a Negroni variation. However, because the Vincent does not try to be a Campari replacement, the resulting drink tastes quite different. Nevertheless, the basis for the “From the Woods” was the Negroni Swizzle as a basis for the cocktail. To make up for the apéritif lacking a bit of bitterness, I  used the Cap Corse quinquina instead of sweet vermouth.

From the Woods:
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4 cl Gretchen Gin
2,25 cl Schladerer Vincent Aperitivo
3 cl Cap Corse Grand Quinquina Blanc
1 Dashes The Bitter Truth Peach Bitters
1 Pinch of Salt
Built in Highball glass over crushed ice – add more crushed ice & swizzle – top off with soda water – stir again;
Garnish: Dried Orange Wheel;
Song: James Vincent McMorrow – From the Woods!!

The resulting drink is very refreshing with clear juniper and raspberry notes. When it comes to Highballs the drink is on the drier side, but without being as bitter as a Gin & Tonic. For secondary flavours you can taste the slight umami notes of the Vincent Aperitif. Of course, you should not taste the salt in the cocktail, but it adds to the complexity of the cocktail.

*The fact that I received a product reviewed in this article for free, did not – in any way – influence the rating of said product.

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