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“The rules are… there ain’t no rules!”
The world of fine Spirits is notorious for its rigorous rules. And thank god for that! Without these centuries-old traditions, there would be no real Cognac, Bourbon, or Single Malt Whisky for you to sip.
But there’s only so much innovation you can create in these strict categories. Spirit enthusiasts all over the globe have been pushing the limits and blending different Spirit categories into bold, jaw-dropping hybrid expressions. We’ve selected the most exciting combinations for you to taste. Rum or Rye? Cognac or Aperitif? Whisky or Wine? Yes, yes, and thousand times yes!
This burgeoning trend isn’t entirely new. Savvy Spirit producers have been experimenting with different blends for years, but it’s only recently that this crossbreeding category exploded. It kind of makes sense — to the naysayers, it could look like just another gimmicky fad at the very first sight, right? But it’s the versatility of these crossbreed Spirits that makes us think these sippers are here to stay. Plus, there are no sipping rules, either. Savor them as cocktails, neat, on the rocks; you do you.
So yes, it might have taken the Spirits enthusiasts some time to wrap their head around this new trend, but it doesn’t look like these mixed Spirits are going anywhere anytime soon. With good reason! Some of the concoctions are absolutely delicious and sure, they might not have all the fancy certificates of a good ol’ Cognac, but the lack of bureaucracy doesn’t make them any less fine. Just different.
Ready to taste the most exciting mixed marriages of the moment?
Start with Matsui Whisky Umeshu from the Kurayoshi Distillery. It’s like if premium Japanese Whisky and Japanese Plum Liqueur had a baby, and that’s exactly what it tastes like, too. Rich, refreshing, and slightly sweet. Continue your journey with Sephina, a luxuriously rich and sweet crossing between V.S.O.P. Cognac and fortified Wine, inspired by the Josephine Baker cocktail. And finally, finish off with Hercules Mulligan, a bold blend of Rum and Rye that was inspired by a famous tailor-spy of the American Revolution.
Let’s mix it up!
1) This category of Spirits might be relatively new but it just might be the biggest trend we’ve seen in decades. Time will tell but in the meantime, here are some interesting facts that are almost as exciting as these mixed babies themselves.
2) Hybrid Spirits blend together different categories of Spirits. The more orthodox Spirit aficionados among you might cringe right there but there are some such out-of-this-world creations out there that you would be lying if you said you weren’t intrigued. Mezquila, Cognac and rosé Wine, Sauvignon Blanc and Absolut Vodka, Gin-Sake, Cognac-Vodka, English meets Scottish Malt Whiskies…
3) Hercules Mulligan was a real-life historical figure of the American Revolution. He was a tailor-turned-spy who made British officers give away sensitive information with his gift of gab and fine Spirits. He managed to save George Washington’s life — twice.
4) Hercules Mulligan Rum & Rye is inspired by a real cocktail that was very popular at the time and it’s crafted with real American Rye Whiskeys as well as aged Caribbean Rum.
5) The first 2,000 bottles of Hercules Mulligan sold out in a flash.
6) Josephine Baker was an American-born French entertainer, French Resistance agent, and civil rights activist. In 2021, she became the first woman to be inducted into France's Panthéon.
7) The famous Kurayoshi Distillery is located right at the foothills of Mount Daisen in Japan where it profits from the pristine mineral water and fertile soil.
8) The city of Kurayoshi is called the city of water and green. Wholesome, right?