Cocktails: Tingala is More than its Tingle

Cocktails: Tingala is More than its Tingle
January 28, 2018 Susan Tews

Tingala is More than its Tingle

Tingala’s unique tingling taste is fun. We get that…

But we also understand that drinkers are not seeking Tingala’s “tingle” fully forward in fine cocktails. Tingala is an amazing cocktail ingredient, made for mixing. Used as an accent ingredient, Tingala’s remarkable taste-stimulating ability elevates almost any mixed drink!

The process known scientifically as chemesthesis refers to stimulation of touch and texture nerves, a trait found in certain botanicals. The active ingredient spilanthol in spilanthes flowers (aka buzz buttons), which we use in Tingala, perks up the taste buds, making cocktails better.

There are other botanicals such as hot peppers and mint that also have a chemesthetic taste aspect. The tongue-tingling effect of Tingala is less a strong flavor, such as hot or menthol, and is closer to a spice-like ingredient such as salt. Or think of it as similar to how aromas, via our sense of smell, increase our ability to relish and even distinguish flavors from one another.

Tingala adds an electric, velvety, sensual-tactile stimulation to beverages or foods. The spilanthes flowers (also called bredes or paracress) are an important cooking ingredient across the southern hemisphere, used in such dishes as the Brazilian seafood and greens stew, Tacaca. Likewise, Tingala can take cocktails to a new level of enjoyment. Tingala should be used as an accent in mixed drinks to enhance other flavors and textures. Look for it to become a new cocktail bar staple in North America.

Flavor Buddies: Tingala’s “flavor buddies” are many. They include nutty, herbal, fruit, berry, vanilla, cocoa, coffee, cinnamon, grains, toasty or smoky, buttery, tannic, sweet or spice notes, including the flavors found in other fine spirits. Note that Tingala does not use excessive sweetening in production to create an illusion of “flavor.” Instead, we leave it up to the drink maker to adjust the sweetness or tartness in cocktails, as desired.

Texture Buddies: Also try Tingala with its “texture buddies,” such as carbonated beverages like bubbly mixers, sparkling wine, sodas, and beer. Tingala also works well with creamy or fatty textures, juices, and more. Experiment, and discover favorite combinations.

In Drinks: Try the Tingala Boulevardier (below) as an example of a cocktail which modifies beautifully with the addition of Tingala. The cocktail’s primary character is derived from the balance of Campari’s tannic dryness, sweet vermouth, and rich rye whiskey base notes. In our version, the addition of a small amount of Tingala assists in further expression of the flavors. Notice the soft current of mouthfeel and the slow blossoming of the drink’s lusciously tart, cherry-like flavors.


1.25 oz rye whisky
.75 oz Tingala
.5 oz Campari liqueur
.5 oz sweet vermouth
orange twist garnish

To make: Combine all the ingredients in a rocks glass filled with a single large ice cube. Stir. Garnish with an orange twist, and serve.

An experiment: A simple experiment to test the taste-bud activating essence of Tingala is to have a sip of water, then a very small sip of Tingala, followed by a second sip of water. Compare how the water tastes. Remarkable, right? This is a simple and dramatic way to experience the way that Tingala, in our humble view, makes just about everything, even water, taste better.

Tingala is at its BEST when used as a modifier in cocktails. Tip: Always use just a small amount to start. Too much can be overwhelming. You’ll know what quantity that works best as you gain experience using Tingala in mixed drinks.

To try Tingala on its own, sample a very small amount first. Keep it forward in the mouth. Tingala is exciting and different from anything else.

#tingalaspirits #tingalacocktails #bartechniques #uniquedrinks