I really like Copenhagen, and I ate and drank well while I was there. I spent two nights in Nyhavn eating seafood and sipping on a gin hass or three, an amazing cocktail, but I didn’t even know what type of gin was in those things. I also had a couple of local aquavit from Copenhagen Distillery while enjoying smørrebrød at Restaurant Møntergade. I tried three local gins while in Denmark, but never found a bar serving any from Copenhagen Distillery.
I think because I had such a hard time finding Copenhagen Distillery gin, I decided that I wanted a bottle to bring home. I found one at Kjær & Sommerfeldt, an absolutely beautiful wine store in the heart of Copenhagen. I wish I had more time, because I could have easily spent an hour just looking around in there. There were three gins from Copenhagen Distillery to choose from, Angelica, Orange, and Bay Leaf.
On August 9, 2022, I bought a 500 ml bottle of the Angelica Gin for 379 Danish krone, about fifty dollars, and entered into the collection as gin no. 073. Of course, I got to the airport and it was for sale there. The bottle I purchased was labeled as Batch 5, 2021. It came boxed with a purple wax seal. The bottle is one of the coolest in my collection, a simple, elegant cube reflective of Scandinavian design.
The gin blends Scandinavian and British traditions. Botanicals include dill and caraway traditionally found in Denmark’s Aquavit, along with more traditional juniper, turmeric, pink pepper, and of course angelica. My first tasting was disappointing. We sampled it alongside gin no. 071 and no. 072. The Hernö Old Tom was sweet and so enjoyable, and the Lockwood Texas Style Gin was rather traditional. Side by side with those two, it didn’t impress. But I came back to it, drinking it with Aquavit in mind.
Sipping on it neat, you really understand that blend of Copenhagen and London, almost a juniper flavored Aquavit. Looked at that way, it is a unique gin, something special to be enjoyed. I tried it again with some tonic and saw immediately why it disappointed on first tasting. The tonic completely overwhelms what is interesting here, a squeeze of lime even more so. So here is the play. It is a gin worth having in your collection, but at 43% ABV, you are going to want to sip it neat. There might be a cocktail for this gin, but don’t add tonic. If you treat it like Aquavit, it’s a winner.
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