About Koval Cranberry Gin Liqueur
Koval started its life as a craft distillery, founded in Chicago in 2008, as the first distillery in Chicago’s city limits since Prohibition. Founders Robert and Sonat Birnecker left their professional lives in academia to found Koval. They have been crafting certified organic whiskeys, brandies, liqueurs and specialty spirits from scratch, ever since. Being the first distillery within city limits since the mid-1800s, Koval brings Austrian distilling traditions to America.
Koval, meaning "blacksmith," in numerous European languages, or "black sheep" in Yiddish, is one of America’s premier small batch, independent spirit manufacturers.
Koval is named after founder Sonat's great-grandfather, who earned Koval the nicknam when, at the very early age of 17 he emigrated from Vienna to Chicago at the start of the 1900s, to start a business. Robert was bequeathed a treasure trove of distilling knowledge and expertise from his grandfather, Robert Schimd.
"Being a craft distiller allows us to be flexible and bring a new approach to the market," says Sonat Birnecker, the founder of Koval Distillery. "Craft can be different. Different in business model. Different in product. Craft is a way to be creative." Together with her husband, Robert, Birnecker founded Koval Distillery — Chicago's first distillery since Prohibition — in 2008.
Koval Distillery, which is situated just a few feet away from Hollywood Beach in Chicago's North End, boasts a custom-made, 2,000 gallon, Kothe Destillationstechnik copper-pot still imported from Germany. "I come from a family that's been distilling for over a hundred years in Austria," explains Robert, who has been distilling spirits himself since he was a child. "My grandfather had a distillery in Austria and I would help him to make different eau de vies and brandies when I was growing up. He taught me the importance of having the right equipment and using fresh, organic ingredients."
Koval Distillery is a grain-to-bottle operation, sourcing their grains from a local organic farmer collective in the Midwest. The grain is milled and mashed on-site, and the resultant liquid is distilled, with only the heart cut making it into the bottle. All enzymes and yeast used in production are non-GMO, and the water is sourced from Lake Michigan, purified using a natural charcoal method.
This Koval handmade liqueur is made with the same amount of meticulous attention given to their higher proof expressions. This cranberry-flavored gin liqueur is crafted from 13 botanicals with incredible fruit-forward and bittersweet notes.
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This typical aperitif has its origins in 13th century Italy where it was used for medicinal purposes. The liqueur is produced worldwide and can have all sorts of flavor profiles, from fruit, spices, nuts, and even cream, and has a low proof of 15 to 30% ABV.
Liqueur can be enjoyed in many different fashions, from drinking neat, in cocktails, served with coffee, or even used for cooking.
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