House of Marnier Lapostolle

| June 6, 2013

KAPPA PiscoI recently had the pleasure of spending the morning with Patrick Raguenaud.  As Master Distiller for the prestigious house of Grand Marnier, he is responsible for the quality and consistent superiority of taste and style for all of the marquee spirits produced by this iconic French company.

Founded in France in 1827 and owned and operated by the fifth, sixth and seventh generations of the family who employ the same care of quality as their forbearers, the company’s Chateau Bourg-Charente in Cognac, France serves as the centerpiece of Grand Marnier’s operation. Here, every facet of production is under Mr. Raguenaud’s direction, from nurturing the company’s long-standing relationships with the farmers of the Cognac region’s premier Ugni Blanc grape growing district, to the maceration of the peels of the Citrus bigardia bitter oranges to blending and bottling.

In addition to overseeing the production of the entire Grand Marnier portfolio, Mr. Raguenaud has recently demonstrated his versatility and skill when he collaborated with seventh generation Marnier Lapostolle family member Charles de Bournet in developing Kappa Pisco in Chile. In fact, he continues to be on the vanguard of the House of Marnier Lapostolle’s innovation strategy that will deliver three new products in 2013.

I had the distinct honor of tasting these fine spirits with Patrick and am pleased to present the first of a series of reviews starting with Kappa, the company’s foray into the world of pisco.

Pisco is the national drink in Chile with over 5 million cases consumed annually and is only produced in two countries, Chile and Peru.  Like Cognac, where Marnier Lapostolle’s roots began, Chilean Pisco is a spirit made from the double distillation of wine.  However, unlike Cognac which must be aged in oak, Chilean Pisco can be either aged or unaged. Similar to the Champagne and Cognac regions in France, Chilean Pisco has been regulated under a D.O. (Denomination of Origin) since 1931.

The name Kappa is derived from the Southern Cross Constellation which is found above the Elqui Valley and is visible in the night sky.  Within this constellation is the Kappa Crucis star cluster, also referred to as the ‘jewel box’ which is considered one of the finest objects in the Southern Hemisphere.

The grapes used in Kappa are grown organically and sourced from Elqui Valley Vineyards  in the northern part of Chile and only the most noble and aromatic grape varieties Pink Muscat (Rosé) and Alexandria Muscat are used in its production.

I first tried this remarkable spirit neat and the floral notes and sheer quality sung on my palate. Clearly standing above its competitors, at approximately $34.99 this represented a considerable value and mixes beautiful into an array of cocktails.

Kappa SourKappa Sour WHITE HIGH

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Kappa Pisco
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white

Directions:

Combine Kappa Pisco and rest of the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a small champagne flute. Top with tree drops, or half dashes of Angostura bitters (to create the shape of the Southern Cross).

 

Kappa Blue StarKappa Blue Star_WHITE HIGH

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Kappa Pisco
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 10 blueberries

Directions:

In a shaker, muddle blueberries with simple syrup. Fill the shaker with ice, add Kappa Pisco and remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain into a small champagne or martini glass.

 

kappa koolerKappa Kooler

Ingredients:

  • 1½ oz Kappa Pisco
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Club soda

Directions:

Squeeze a wedge of lemon and lime

Combine all ingredients into a Collins glass with ice. Top with club soda and stir. Garnish with lemon and lime wedge.

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