Review: King’s Ginger Liqueur
Whatever you think of the monarchy, the royal family certainly has it’s fair share of interesting characters. One such individual was King Edward VII who, whilst heir to the throne was largely excluded from political influence due to his behaviours that earned him the nickname of ‘Edward the Caresser’. In addition to the company of women, he also enjoyed a variety of outdoor pursuits which led his physician to conclude that he was in need of a liqueur to “warm and revify” his Majesty. The wine and spirit merchants Berry Bros were commissioned to solve the problem, and The King’s Ginger was the result.
The King’s Ginger is produced simply by macerating root ginger in alcohol, then adding a dash of lemon oil and the necessary sugar. It is unusually high strength for a liqueur, weighing in at 41%. It would appear that King Edward did indeed like to be warmed!
Nose – Unsurprisingly, gingery! More stem ginger than fresh, but then it is a liqueur and that is no bad thing. There is a nice warm citrus edge to it and an understated attitude rather than full-on spicy ginger. It’s a pretty ‘simple’ aroma, but one that entices you in to taste.
Neat – Immediately I’m struck by how the palate is much more interesting than the nose. The ginger is more sophisticated in profile than might be found in ginger wine for example, and mellow rather than spicy. Like a hug in front of a fire. The lemon oil is perfectly balanced and lifts the palate to another level. There is also an excellent depth of flavour; you could easily be fooled into thinking there was a cognac base here. The finish is nice and clean, leaving a tingle of ginger lingering until the next sip. And another sip there will most certainly, this is delicious.
Mixing – The citrus edge to this liqueur led me initially to make the mistake of using it as a replacement for Triple Sec in a range of classic cocktails initially. Whilst the resulting drinks were on the whole very tasty, the ginger was often lost a little in the mix, which seemed a shame considering how delicious it is neat. Gradually I moved into simpler and simpler cocktails and whilst a tequila old fashioned came close, it was not until I tried a 50:50 mix of The King’s Ginger and Scotch (The Balvenie Signature in this case) that I hit the jackpot; and what jackpot it was! The honeyed Balvenie and mellow ginger were a match made in heaven, resulting in a cockle-warming and smooth libation that was quite simply delicious. Playing around with different whiskys’ was very successful, with each combination showcasing the best of each product. Keeping it simple is definitely the way to go with The King’s Ginger, as I was equally rewarded when trying a ‘ginger royal’; simply The King’sGinger topped with champagne and a lemon zest. For those occasions not suited to Champagne (are there any?!), mixing with tonic or bitter lemon also works well.
Signature Cocktail: The King’s Mac
30ml The King’s Ginger
30ml Scotch Whisky
Pour over ice into a rocks glass, stir briefly
The King’s Ginger is a delightfully cockle-warming high strength ginger liqueur that you would have to be mad not to like. Delicious on it’s own, it shines in simple cocktails where its sophisticated taste can do the talking.
The King’s Ginger is available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.