Kratena, Berg and Caporale launch Muyu liqueurs

Internationally recognised bartenders Alex Kratena, Monica Berg and Simone Caporale have launched Muyu, a range of three modern liqueurs made with natural ingredients.

Combining a boutique ‘perfume attitude’ with the team’s own mixology ethos, Muyu aims to bring extraordinary ingredients to modern bartenders. 

Inspired by a trip to the Amazon, Muyu will actively promote biodiversity through responsible sourcing, a share of profits from each bottle will also go towards NGOs doing meaningful work in the region.

Taking its name from the word for ‘seed’ in Quechan languages, Berg, Caporale and Kratena have each designed one of the Muyu liqueurs – Jasmine Verte, Chinotto Nero and Vetiver Gris respectively. 

Working closely with De Kuyper Royal Distillers, the Dutch family business with more than 320 years of experience in distilling liqueurs, they have created a new way of composing flavour. 

Each liquid begins with the extraction of a single note – the eponymous ingredient of each liqueur. Then the secondary sequence of ingredients are wrapped around each note to create a more developed liquid.

A number of different techniques, including enfleurage, steam distillation, C02 extraction, and resinoïds, are used to extract the chosen flavours. These are then blended with alcohol, sugar, acids and water to create the final liquid.

“We first visited the Amazon in 2016 to explore the potential of Amazonian produce in cocktails, and we were so inspired by what we saw, but also realised we would contribute to the rainforest’s destruction if we sourced directly from there,” said Berg.

“Therefore we collaborate with leading experts to help us source, concentrate and capture aromatic substances of plants, flowers and fruits. The individual components either come from Grasse, a French town nicknamed the perfume capital of the world, or Schiedam, a Dutch city known for its historic distilleries such as our partners De Kuyper. 

“This process allows us to create a liqueur brand that enables bartenders to work with some of the most extraordinary ingredients available in the world, without taking anything away from the rainforest.” 

The liqueurs are presented in bottles inspired by Muyu’s connection to the Amazon. Details include digital re-imaginings of traditional patterns used in body painting by indigenous communities in the region, references to global flora and fauna, and the colours of the rainforest itself.

Mark de Witte, CEO of De Kuyper Royal Distillers, added: “Muyu will make a real difference in offering excellent cocktail experiences to both bartenders and consumers.”

The launch will be celebrated with a pop-up Muyu Boutique at 67 Neal Street, Seven Dials, London WC2 9PJ, from 19-23 February 2019 (1pm-9pm), where people will be able to drop in to buy a bottle or enjoy a product tasting with the three bartenders.