La Crema Brut Rose Russian River Valley NV
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Tasting Notes: Copper-orange color. Knockout, endlessly complex perfume of orange blossom, cinnamon Red Hots, clove, ginger and mint. A silky, umami-like texture is utterly seamless and smooth. Hints of griotte cherry, orange zest, fynbos and tree bark are lifted by a strong spicy character. Wonderfully complex, moderately sweet and long, with a finishing note of bitter orange giving the finish a drier quality and great refreshment value. I bet you can't drink just one glass. In partnership with Danish mixologist Lars-Erik Schmidt, Adi Badenhorst reinvented an old South African product that disappeared in about 1910. Serve it on its own over ice with a slice of lemon, or with club soda. It's also remarkably versatile in cocktails.
Accolades: 94 Vinous
For decades this unique Aperitif inspired barmen all over the world. Then, in the 1930s, the company that made it disappeared, and with it the product as well as the recipe. Subsequently, mixologists and bartenders from all over the world referred to the defunct Caperitif as the “ghost ingredient.” Fast forward almost 100 years to when Adi Badenhorst finally revived this ghost ingredient with the launch of the new Caperitif. A high quality white wine base (made on Kalmoesfontein) is the starting point. Then, a neutral grape-derived alcohol spirit is added to increase the alcohol to at least 16% ABV. Once this level of alcohol is achieved, at least 45 different ingredients are added. These ingredients include a variety of fruits, garden herbs, spices, a bouquet of various flowers, some roots and barks for bitterness as well as the distinctive and unique Fynbos. Fynbos is the collective name for the 8,500 different species of plants that grow in the Cape Floral Region. Many of these plants have been harvested and utilized for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and are intensely aromatic, imparting a unique aroma to the Caperitif. A portion of each batch is matured in old oak casks and blended back into the “fresh” Caperitif to add even more complexity to the final product. Caperitif can be enjoyed like most aperitifs or vermouths—simply with ice, or in many different cocktails.