Tempus Fugit Spirits
Aug 05, 2019
The Spirit of History
Tempus Fugit Spirits was determined to seek out fine rare liquors that were once staples in classic pre-Prohibition cocktails, which have been lost over time. In most cases, Tempus Fugit Spirits recreated these liqueurs using historic 19th-century protocols, many cross-referenced in several languages, to arrive as close in taste to these forgotten spirits as is possible, or even surpass them. From rare fruit, flower and plant liqueurs to bitters, amari, vermouths and chinati, Tempus Fugit Spirits prides itself in finding out what’s missing from the back bar of the most discerning bartenders. Tempus Fugit Spirits’ focus is on what is often called a cocktail “modifier” those spirit-based ingredients used to transform whisky, gin, rum, etc. into a cocktail. Today, this category is often abused by industrial methods of production, artificial flavors and colors. It’s known that these liqueurs were created in the past to be enjoyed alone, as aperitifs or digestifs, and were made with great pride and care by the best distilleries and liquorists. Tempus Fugit Spirits follows in their noble steps, and it is with great pride that they bring the “Spirit of History” to the modern cocktail enthusiast.
The Return of Absinthe
In the early days of the modern absinthe renaissance, one of the founders of Tempus Fugit Spirits created the modern protocol for the highly acclaimed Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe. He is also responsible for the creation or co-development of over 25 European absinthe brands since 2001. After the re-legalization of absinthe in the United States in 2007, large US importers showed little interest in small-batch, high-quality distilled European absinthe from historic protocols. Undeterred, Tempus Fugit became an independent US importer, with the goal to be the sole US agent for several premium, award winning absinthes from the historic absinthe-producing regions in Switzerland and France. Tempos Fugit Spirits is at the forefront of this exciting and resurgent spirits category, which has now become a fixture in any well-stocked drinking establishment and personal spirits collection.
TEMPUS FUGIT SPIRITS SELECTION
This unique and rare liqueur is based on a mid-19th-century French recipe and is made only in micro-batches by a Swiss distiller. The protocol uses the finest French violets, traditionally hand-harvested in the sunny and historic Côte d’Azur, along the Mediterranean Sea, among the myriad of precious flowers cultivated in the region for the world’s finest perfumes. As a liqueur expression, as opposed to a “crème”, the lower sugar-levels help maximize the natural floral aromatics.
Crafted by distilling small batches of ripe bananas. The dark amber spirit is rich and sweet like banana bread, with flavors of vanilla and caramelized sugar complementing a true banana taste.
Natural golden-amber color. Aroma presents a multi-faceted bitter-sweetness of orange peel, gentian root and wormwood mingled with rhubarb and vanilla. The viscosity immediately highlights the sweet rhubarb, then the bitter gentian root and orange peel blend with wormwood, vanilla and resiny notes. Deep, layered and lingering finish that balances and alternates between the sweet and bitter.
It has a beautiful deep golden hue with an aroma of quince and fine marmalade, and a complex, mildly bitter taste that teases the tongue as its well-balanced sweetness and viscosity prolongs the finish.
Unusual, yet natural green tint with light blue reflections. Slow forming louche giving way to a thick green/white opalescence. Earthy, musky aromas combine with alpine herbs and flowers. Initial flavors are round and savory with a full, buttery palate giving way to a balanced, refreshing and complex finish.
Pale peridot green. Slowing dripping ice-cold water produces a lightly green-tinged and billowy opalescent cloudiness. The aroma is fresh, yet slightly briny and spicy with lightly mentholated and cacao notes. The flavors are multi-layered, the grape spirit provides a complex base for subtle herbal undertones, the anise and fennel seed are sweet yet, well balanced, highlighting the minty/menthol taste of true Pontarlier wormwood.
This vermouth offers a full mouth-feel that contributes weight to a cocktail, and lightly bitter but bright, refreshing citrus and herbal notes that lengthen the finish.
The slightly lower ABV than the Vermouth di Torino Rosso helps highlight this Chinato vermouth’s backbone and aromatics, making it a complex and interesting alternative to Sweet Vermouth in cocktails as well as eminently sippable on its own.
Deep colored, almost black, with golden reflections from the expensive addition of fine saffron, there is no additional coloring added. The saffron aromas mix with lightly mentholated and medicinal notes. The bitterness is immediately detected on the first sip, but evolves with light mint, menthol flavors that are surprisingly balanced and a subtle sweetness carries the finish on for a long while, as the bitterness becomes surprisingly engaging. This amazing liqueur can be sipped on its own, but shines in skillfully-made cocktails, especially the Employees Only and the Toronto. Tempting to take straight as a shot, if one stops to savor it, Fernet del Frate will instantly become the go-to sipper for the first and the last drink of the night.