Kratena, Berg and Caporale launch trio of ‘modern’ liqueurs

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Renowned bartenders Alex Kratena, Monica Berg and Simone Caporale have launched Muyu, a three-strong range of liqueurs made with natural ingredients.

Inspired by a trip the trio took to the Amazon, the brand actively promotes biodiversity through responsible sourcing, with a share of profits from each bottle donated to NGOs in the region.

Working closely with Dutch drinks firm De Kuyper Royal Distillers, Monica, Simone and Alex have each designed one Muyu liqueur, which takes its name from the word ‘seed’ in Quechan languages.

To create the Muyu expressions, the bartenders used an approach similar to that employed by perfumers.

Each liquid begins with the extraction of a single note, the eponymous ingredient of each liqueur. Following this, the secondary sequence of ingredients are wrapped around each note for “a more developed liquid”.

A number of different techniques, including enfleurage, steam distillation, C02 extraction, and resinoïds, are used to extract the chosen flavours. These are then blended with alcohol, sugar, acids and water to create the final liquid.

The first liqueur in the range, Muyu Vetiver Gris, has been created by Alex. At 22% ABV, it is described as “earthy and woody”, with accents of timur, patchouli, petit grains and cedarwood.

Monica produced Muyu Jasmine Vert (24% ABV), a “floral liquid” with notes of neroli, patchouli, yuzu and iris.

Simone’s “citrusy” Muyu Chinotto Nero, with an ABV of 24%, has accents of cinchona, oak moss, curacao orange and cacao.

Monica said: “We first visited the Amazon in 2016 to explore the potential of Amazonian produce in cocktails, and we were so inspired by what we saw, but also realised we would contribute to the rainforest’s destruction if we sourced directly from there.

“Therefore, we collaborate with leading experts to help us source, concentrate and capture aromatic substances of plants, flowers and fruits.

“The individual components either come from Grasse, a French town nicknamed the perfume capital of the world, or Schiedam, a Dutch city known for its historic distilleries such as our partners De Kuyper.

“This process allows us to create a liqueur brand that enables bartenders to work with some of the most extraordinary ingredients available in the world, without taking anything away from the rainforest.”

Mark de Witte, CEO of De Kuyper Royal Distillers, added: “We are proud and happy to collaborate with renowned industry professionals Alex, Monica and Simone and believe that Muyu will make a real difference in offering excellent cocktail experiences to both bartenders and consumers.”

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