Drinking and cuddling meet home & “hygge” | Peter Eichhorn
Drinking and cuddling meet home & “hygge”
By Peter Eichhorn
"Try it with cosiness, with calmness and with cosiness. You'll chase away everyday life and worries", sang the bear Balu in the legendary classic "The Jungle Book". And just as the original German 'Gemütlichkeit' found its way untranslated into the English or French language, the Danish 'Hygge' has recently been included in the local Duden. The well-known dictionary provides the following definition: "Gemütlichkeit, cosiness as a principle of life."
This immediately sounds much friendlier than the reserved and meanwhile outdated 'cocooning'. And even the convivial, harmonising principle of 'homing' does not come close to the cheerfully, cuddly and pleasurably furnished hygge world.
Possibly, the current hygge-trend also means an alternative design to the fast-paced digital everyday world and corresponds to the desire for deceleration and taking a deep breath. Especially in Denmark, where experimental Nordic cuisine à la 'Noma' and 'Kadeau' with ants on radish or celery truffle shawarma made an impression as a study of intellectual cuisine, Hygge offers in contrast a hearty stew in the family circle.
Happy and hygge With a book in your armchair - naturally in Nordic design - and a crackling fire in the fireplace. Outside rain pelting against the windows and a cup of temptingly smelling hot cocoa. This is what hygge is all about. And a good shot of rum in the cocoa, perhaps? If you believe the many hygge guidebooks, warm drinks are regarded as ideal drinks for this lifestyle. And a look out of the window at the current weather conditions provides further confirmation.
Thus bring on the rum. A walk around ProWein is really worth your while, because rum is represented in an extraordinarily wide variety amongst the spirits. For example, at the Dictador stand (Hall 12 / E71) with its fascinating selection of molasses distillate from Colombia, which is frequently matured using the Solera process. The diversity of the different regions of origin is often demonstrated by the independent bottlers, such as Plantation from the Cognac Haus Ferrand (Hall 12 / A27). As a contrast, the variant of rum production from the former French colonies may be used, in which case not molasses but fresh sugar cane juice is distilled. Delightful to taste at Rhum Clément (Hall 12 / F54). And Felix Georg Kaltenthaler proves with his Revolte Rum (Hall 7 / B43) that young German distillers also know their trade.
Whisky and Whiskey A further classic hot cocktail, possibly even the forefather of this category, is the hot toddy. Similar to the grog, a spirit is mixed with lemon juice, spices and honey or sugar and then infused with hot water. Numerous spirits, in particular matured spirits, are suitable for this type of preparation, but experienced bartenders swear by whiskey as a basic ingredient. Heaven Hill (Hall 12 / C85) from Kentucky, one of the best-known distilleries in North America, will be presenting Evan Williams and Elijah Craig, two premium Bourbon brands. Those who prefer the rye variety instead of the corn distillate can choose Rittenhouse Rye.
Currently, Irish whiskey is also a very popular trend. As a rule, triple distilled and with a mild character, the variety in this country is also growing significantly. For example, Hyde Irish Whiskey (Hall 12 / A80) and Kinahan's (Hall 12 / A80) will prove this.
Koval from Chicago (Hall 12 / D85) offers a special distillate made from unusual yet historic grain varieties such as millet or oats. And multifaceted Kirsch Whisky (Hall 7 / B02) introduces the rich aromas of Scottish distillates. The Loch Lomond Group (Hall 12 / G101), which with brands such as Inchmurrin or Littlemill stands for an outstanding price/performance ratio, may safely (still) be regarded as an insider tip.
Distilled home The cozy home could also fit in very well with the trend and growing demand for regional and traditional products. And what would be more obvious than the Uerige house brewery acting as the Düsseldorf local hero in Hall 13 / F120 with local top-fermented brewing specialities and distillates such as beer brandy.
Furthermore, Brennerei Liebl (Hall 12 / D65) will be presenting whisky from Bavaria; Brennerei Humbel will be bringing the finest from the cherry into the distillate (Hall 7 / D26). Gebr. J. & M. Ziegler GmbH (Hall 13 / E118) has dedicated itself to the elegance of fruit brandy since 1865; HirschRudel (Hall 7 / A01) confidently continues the tradition of herbal liqueurs and Berliner Brandstifter (Hall 7 / B24) is decisively involved in the comeback of Edelkornbrand.
This year too, the variety of juniper distillates will not be omitted. Gin is still making its way into the gastronomy and the hygge-like house bars in numerous and varied ways. In fact, the hygge experts recommend a warm version of gin & tonic. The gin is mixed with tonic syrup and then infused with hot water. The rich variety of gin from London Dry to New Western Style encounters trade fair visitors at countless stands. The Rheinland Distillers (Hall 7 / B26), well known for their Siegfried Gin, offer a special highlight with their new alcohol-free gin 'Wonderleaf' in their portfolio.
Since we are already talking about hygge, the exhibitors from hygge's Danish homeland also fit in with our drinking pleasure. Gin and rum can be found at 1423 ApS (Hall 12 / F100), but what is a better match than a hearty aquavit from the Copenhagen Distillery (Hall 7 / C35).