Mandarine Napoléon seminar and competition in Stockholm

Arno Van Eijmeren
On March 25, I was invited to an inspirational seminar on Mandarine Napoléon liqueur at Berns here in Stockholm. The product was invented back in 1892, and was once very popular but has since fallen into oblivion. Recently, it was obtained by De Kuyper, with the hope it will once again become a hit in cocktail bars all over the world.

The seminar was held by Arno Van Eijmeren from Rotterdam, also involved in Dr. and Barrelproof Boutique, who presented the history and production process of the liqueur, together with a tasting - neat and in a few cocktails. On its own, it's got a nice cognac base together with a sweet taste of mandarine and spices. At 38 abv, I'm sure it could be used in a lot of cocktails, for instance as a substitute for other orange/citrus modifiers.

As a surprise, organizer Nigab announced a spontaneous competition, in which the invited bartenders were supposed to create a new cocktail using Mandarine Napoléon as the base spirit. I instantly thought that a twist on the Brandy Crusta would be a good idea, and here's the recipe, which I might tweak some day:

Untitled
35 ml Mandarine Napoléon
30 ml Martell VS cognac
20 ml lemon juice
10 ml Luxardo Maraschino
lemon peel

Shake with ice, strain into flute glass, add 2 dashes of Green Chartreuse and garnish with a lemon peel Crusta style. I wanted to make an Angostura bitters soaked castor sugar to put on the lemon peel, but the tools at hand were very limited.

Bartenders improvising

Anyway, my cocktail didn't make the top three... winner of the competition and a trip to the Mandarine Napoléon distillery in Belgium was Mattias Borg from Reisen Bar - congratulations!




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