|Tempus Fugit Spirits has elected Anchor Distilling Company as importer of its portfolio of small-batch absinthes, vintage-style liqueurs, and historic Abbott's bitters.
"Tempus Fugit has been recreating classic and historical recipes to standards not previously seen for many years," says David King, President of Anchor Distilling Company. "I am delighted to say that Anchor Distilling Company and Tempus Fugit Spirits will be working together in a strategic partnership to bring this unique portfolio to a broader audience. From their unparalleled expertise in absinthe to the unique and exciting Gran Classico, this collection of high-quality modifiers is essential to any classic back bar."
Founded in 2006 by John Troia and Peter Schaf, Tempus Fugit began by specializing in historically produced absinthe and has expanded to other rare liqueurs that were once staples in pre-Prohibition cocktails, and have been lost over time. The company name, "Tempus Fugit," is an old Latin phrase that is often mistranslated as simply meaning "Time flies," but is more accurately translated to "Time is fleeting or short." This centuries-old historic phrase perfectly embodies Tempus Fugit Spirits' inspiration and belief that the utmost quality should be sought in all of life's experiences, especially in what we drink.
Highlights from the portfolio include:
Tempus Fugit Spirits Gran Classico Bitter
28%ABV, 750ml, $32.99 SRP
This bitter apéritif liqueur was created following the "Italian Bitter of Turin" recipe dating from the 1860s. Originally produced in Turin, Italy, under the name Torino Gran Classico, the recipe was purchased in 1925 by the small Swiss distillery E. Luginbühl, and a version has been produced for mostly local consumption ever since. Gran Classico was developed by reverting back to the original recipe - a maceration of 25 aromatic herbs and roots including wormwood, gentian, bitter orange peel, rhubarb, and hyssop. Gran Classico Bitter is often served as an aperitif over ice or with seltzer water, and makes frequent appearances as a modifier in a wide range of classic cocktails.
Tempus Fugit Spirits Fernet del Frate Angelico
44%ABV, 750ml, $59.99 SRP
This extremely bitter concoction has conflicting data as to its origins. A recent Tempus Fugit discovery of an original Italian invoice and recipe attributed Fernet to a monk named Frate Angelico Fernet, who may have been responsible for the origin of many herbal tonics and elixirs. Deep colored, almost black from the extensive recipe, with golden reflections from the addition of fine saffron; there is no additional coloring added. The bitterness is immediately detected on the first sip, but evolves with light mint flavors that are surprisingly balanced.
Tempus Fugit Spirits Crème de Cacao
24%ABV, 750ml, $32.99 SRP
Tempus Fugit Spirits Crème de Cacao is based on a 19th-century recipe, cross-referenced in English and French. The cacao beans, sourced from Venezuela, are distilled and the distillate is then macerated with additional cacao and crushed vanilla beans from Mexico. The process not only gives a depth of character, but also naturally colors the Crème de Cacao a medium brown. The finish is aromatic and round with intense, dusty-pure cacao flavors and light wisps of vanilla.
Tempus Fugit Spirits Kina L'Aéro d'Or
18%ABV, 750ml, $27.99 SRP
The late 19th to early 20th century was the "Golden Age" of French aperitif wines known as "quinquinas" or "kinas." Originally created to make quinine more palatable when administered to soldiers in the disease-plagued "colonies," kinas took on a life of their own as producers found combinations of ingredients that delighted the public and also evolved their own styles following the tastes of the regions in which they were produced. Kina L'Aéro d'Or reflects an Alps-Provence style with white wine made from the Piedmont-grown Cortese grape infused with cinchona bark, orange peel, wormwood, and other exotic spices. It has a beautiful deep golden hue with an aroma of quince and fine marmalade, and a complex, mildly bitter taste that teases the tongue as its well-balanced sweetness prolongs the finish.
Tempus Fugit Spirits Liqueur de Violettes
22%ABV, 750ml, $29.99 SRP
This unique and rare liqueur is based on a mid-19th-century French recipe and is made only in micro-batches by Swiss distiller Oliver Matter for Tempus Fugit. It is made with the finest French violets, traditionally hand-harvested in the sunny and historic Côte d'Azur, along the Mediterranean Sea, among the myriad of precious flowers cultivated in the region for the world's finest perfumes. This elegant elixir has lower sugar content than the heavier "crème"-style violet cordials and intensely highlights its delicate floral aromatics. It is deep fuchsia-pink and has an intense floral nose with powdery tinge.
Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe Français Supérieure
65%ABV, 750ml, $64.99 SRP
Vieux Pontarlier (pronounced 'View Pon-tarr-lee-ay') is craft-distilled in Pontarlier, France, the historic "Capital of Absinthe." Select botanicals and Pontarlier-grown wormwood, which is considered the finest in the world, are distilled in a chardonnay grape-based spirit from Burgundy. Vieux Pontarlier was developed over a period of five years at one of the last two remaining absinthe distilleries still functioning in Pontarlier, using the distillery's original, pre-ban logbook notes and antique alembic stills designed specifically for making absinthe. Vieux Pontarlier is pale peridot green; slow dripping ice-cold water produces a lightly green-tinged and billowy opalescent louche. The aroma is fresh, yet slightly briny and spicy with lightly mentholated and cocoa notes. The flavors are multi-layered with the grape spirit providing a complex base for subtle herbal undertones; the anise and fennel are well balanced, highlighting the menthol taste of true Pontarlier wormwood.
In addition, Tempus Fugit produces: Crème de Menthe Glaciale (28% ABV, $32.99 SRP), Crème de Noyaux (30% ABV, $34.99 SRP), Abbott's Aromatic Bitters (5oz, $14.99 SRP), Duplais Swiss Absinthe Verte (68% ABV, $69.99 SRP), Absinthe Brevans H.R. Giger (68% ABV, $69.99 SRP), and Heritage Absinthe Verte (68% ABV, $64.99 SRP).