It all started with a comment on our Dante’s Divina cocktail post from CaveGirlMBA that she was skeptical about using beer in cocktails. She may still be skeptical, but we started a virtual friendship when we noticed that her blog, which features great and often times humorous business-related articles, also includes an excellent section on making cocktails in airport lounges, appropriately titled AirLounge Cocktails. As avid cocktail drinkers, we have been trying to do the same thing ourselves as we pass the time waiting for flights. So we decided to team up with CaveGirlMBA and write guest posts on this topic whenever we travel.
It’s a real challenge, since the selections tend to be limited; bitters and fancy garnishes are generally out of the question. It’s not possible to create cocktails in lounges in the United States, as they do not allow free pours of alcohol. However, international lounges are another story, and every lounge offers a different selection of liquors. First in our series is the Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Frankfurt Main airport, where we recently spent a couple of hours awaiting a connection to Vienna.
The liquor choices in the Lufthansa Lounge are located above the beers, and are actually quite good compared to other airports. Normal selections of Campari, vodka and gin were accompanied by Tullamore Dew whiskey and three different schnapps bottles (we are in Germany after all):
But the real discovery was a bottle of Killepitsch, standing between the schnapps and a bottle of Jägermeister. A quick search on Wikipedia told us that Killepitsch is an herbal liqueur made in Dusseldorf with 90 fruits, berries, herbs, and spices. A quick taste proved that it is pretty close to an Amaro with cola-berry like flavors (probably closest to Ramazotti Amaro in our opinion). We like our Amari, so we wanted Killepitsch to act as an important ingredient in our AirLounge Cocktail challenge.
Our first cocktail ended up tasting a lot like a refreshing Whiskey and Coke with the Killepitsch base. We drink Tullamore Dew as our affordable whiskey of choice (at ~$20/litre it’s a relative bargain), offering just the right amount of sweetness for a cocktail. We also took some lemon wedges and squeezed the juice out, saving the rinds to fashion twists (albeit with plenty of the bitter pith). We didn’t have a measuring cup, but it’s easy to eyeball the amount in the tall thin glass. As experienced drunks, we know what an ounce pour looks like, but even if you don’t, just pour equal or half measures of the liquids, and it should come out fine.
As told on their web page, Killepitsch literally means “If they don’t kill us, we will meet again and drink (pitsch).” Google translate tell us that “until then” translates to “bis dahin” in German so we’re dubbing this drink B’s Dahin.
1 oz. Tullamore Dew
1 oz. Killepitsch
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 – 2 oz. tonic (located in the fridge)
Pour the first three ingredients into a glass and stir to mix. Add ice, top with tonic water, then stir again. Garnish with a lemon twist.
One of the Barflys really likes Campari, so the second cocktail had to contain some of the bitter Italian liquor. We also noticed a bottle of Martini d’Oro (gold) Vermouth, sold only in Germany, so we had to find a way to use it. A small taste of the d’Oro proved that it is definitely not dry, with vanilla overtones, but not as sweet as the Rosso. We decided a mixture of that along with the Killepitsch would make a great Negroni derivative, German-style, so we’re calling this drink a Schwarzoni.
1 oz. Gordon’s Gin
1 oz. Campari
0.75 oz. Martini d’Oro Vermouth
0.50 oz. Killepitsch
Pour all ingredients into a glass and stir to mix. Add ice, then garnish with a lemon slice or twist.
A view of both drinks with B’s Dahin up front and the Schwarzoni in the rear:
Epilogue: It just so happens that we were on our way to Austria, where CaveGirlMBA happens to live. So we were able to spend a lovely evening with her pondering life’s questions over some great Austrian wine. It’s rare that a virtual friendship turns into a real friendship, and we look forward to spending more time with her when we return to Vienna (or if she comes to San Francisco.)