Träkál: The Spirit of the Patagonia Mountains
Before we dive in, I feel it necessary to admit something to you. I had never been camping. I had never slept in a tent, and my life’s longest hike was three miles.
So it’s odd that I recently found myself trekking through the Chilean side of Patagonia with a group of bartenders. We were there for the Träkál.
Never heard of it? That’s most likely because Träkál is a Patagonian spirit brand that launched less than two years ago. First in Chile, then in Colorado. At this point, Träkál is still very unfamiliar to the masses.
What makes Träkál so unique is that the FDA recognized it as its own spirit category. That’s right, it’s not a gin, brandy, vodka or anything else you have heard of before. Träkál is a liquor distilled from crabapples and pears, infused with spices, herbs, and berries native to Patagonia. It carries an herbaceous flavor profile, and the taste is likened to a mix between a gin and a brandy. Träkál shines when paired with fresh fruit, and bright flavors (see recipe below). It’s special enough that an indoorsy guy like me was willing to sleep in a tent to learn more about it.
Träkál Founder Sebastian Gomez refuses to take credit, instead praising Patagonia itself for the liquor.
“I only facilitated it,” Gomez says. “The land created Träkál. If I didn’t do it, then someone else was going to distill what was already here.”
And so, to truly understand Träkál, we needed to appreciate the land from which it came—Patagonia. So we explored the mountains and created paths barely visited before, all with the smell of Patagonia’s unique blend of native herbs and spices used in the spirit floating around us.
The spirit of Patagonia has always been around. As for Träkál as a brand, it is still in its early stages of growth, gaining both national and international distribution. Träkál might not be easily found, but we’re not the type to shy away from a search. Take it from a guy that is not that outdoorsy—it’s worth the hike.
Read on for my Diez Minutos Träkál Cocktail recipe.
In a cocktail shaker, combine the strawberries, orange juice, lime juice, and honey syrup. Press the ingredients with a muddler to release the flavor and juice from the strawberries. Add in the Träkál, and fill the shaker with ice. Shake to chill the cocktail and strain into a cocktail glass over ice. (Add a splash of Tonic water for more flavor and effervescence). Garnish with a lime wheel.
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