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In a nutshell:
A caraway flavoured spiced liqueur made to an original Latvian recipe
The origins of Kummel's popularity lies in the Baltic state of Latvia during the 19th century. At that time it was considered to have a medicinal effect and one Ludwig Mentzendorff created a thriving business exporting it to Britain. In the early twentieth century production moved to the Loire Valley in France where it remains to this day. With hints of liquorice and a touch of sweetness it's a pretty distinctive liqueur but has a clean and fresh finish. A favourite at golf clubs throughout the land it's best served well chilled as a digestif.
Ludwig Mentzendorff first brought Mentzendorff Kummel to London in the 1850s at the behest of the Baron von Blanckenhagen. The Baron had established the Allasch distillery on his country estate near Riga in the 1820s to produce Kummel to his familys private recipe. Upon its arrival in Britain this clear, aniseed liqueur flavoured with caraway seeds made its mark on the British palate as 'the principal liqueur of Russia'. Today the spirit is made for Mentzendorff by the Distillerie Combier in the town of Saumur on the River Loire in France.