Friday 15 December 2017

Irish drinks firm Babco breathes life into banned wine which spurred creation of Coca Cola

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

An Irish drinks firm are gearing up for the relaunch of a wine that was first created over 150 years ago.

Babco are set to release a small batch of authentic Vin Mariani, which was first created by Angelo Mariani in Paris in 1863.

Customers in Amsterdam, Seoul, Sydney, London and Dublin will have access to the alcoholic blend of Bordeaux and Peruvian Coca leaf - a development of the concoction that was banned some 102 years ago.

Originally marketed as a digestif, an aperitif, and a general cure-all, Vin Mariani became a huge hit across Europe and America when it first came to market.

Efforts to essentially copycat the product proved successful for John S. Pemberton in the 1880s who initially developed Pemberton’s French Wine Coca.

But when prohibition came into force in Atlanta - around the same time - Pemberton came under pressure to create a non-alcoholic version and Coca Cola (still containing the ingredient cocaine) was born.

When the drug was officially banned in 1914,  Vin Mariani was taken off the market and was out of business.

But Angelo's secrets - believed to have died with him - have been revealed by experts using documents from the late 1800s and advanced modern pharmacopeia techniques.

Babco CEO Mark Wilson describes Vin Mariani as a wine which is “rich dark ruby red in colour, with deep lush honeyed fruit flavours, racy acidity and an earthy aroma that has an elegant, powerful and smooth finish".

"Vin Mariani is a remarkable homage to the craft of wine fortification and should be enjoyed neat, chilled, with ice or as a perfect partner when mixed with cola," he said.

"It is amazing that the release of the brand after 153 years is on trend again as a vital ingredient to create super premium wine cocktail recipes both vintage and contemporary.”

Established in 1998, Babco develops alcohol beverages and spirits with brands such as Agwa de Bolivia, Mickey Finn and Bad Angel.

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