Tingala Tasting Notes

Tingala Tasting Notes
January 29, 2018 Susan Tews

TASTING NOTES

Tingala is the first spirit of its kind in the U.S., a liqueur made from flowers with a natural tingling taste. Savory, not sweet, handcrafted from real ingredients (no extracts), Tingala is a powerful and versatile way to invigorate cocktails.

What makes Tingala special? Think of the thrill of first making eye contact with someone, the exhilaration of punching the accelerator of a frighteningly fast sports car, or the rush you get from the throbbing beat of music. The way something feels matters. It makes us feel alive. Tingala’s tactility enlivens the taste buds in an unexpected way and takes the flavor of mixed drinks from subtle to superb.

INGREDIENTS

Tingala gets its tingling taste from fresh acmella alba (spilanthes) flowers. These small yellow flower buds sometimes also are used as a cocktail garnish. The flower is a nearly petalless, inflorescent blossom. The plant is a member of the aster and daisy family.

We selected the most delicious and intensely flavored varietal of this herb genus to use in Tingala. Safe and FDA approved, the fresh floret is known as Buzz Button, Electric Daisy, or Tingflower®.

While sometimes also referred to as szechuan button, spilanthes (acmella alba) should not be confused with the Szechuan, or sichaun, peppercorn used in Chinese cuisine. The szechuan peppercorn is a small black spice and has both a tongue tingling taste and spicy heat, whereas the fresh, yellow florets we use in Tingala deliver intense tingle and mild herbal flavor only, and no hot pepper taste.

THE PLANT

Spilanthes acmella is a tropical perennial native to Brazil, where it is known as paracress, brede mafane (bredes), toothache plant, and jambu. It is cultivated throughout the year as a culinary and ornamental plant, and is used in folk medicine. Spilanthes is also found in other tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including Africa, America, Borneo, India, Sri Lanka and Asia.

Spilanthol is the bioactive compound, a fatty acid amide found in spilanthes flowers, which triggers the trigeminal, or “touch” nerves in a unique way. Along with a natural, seemingly analgesic effect experienced as a tingling sensation, spilanthol stimulates salivation, enhancing enjoyment of other tastes and textures, particularly in cocktails.

TASTE

While well known in other parts of the world, herbal-botanical tingling taste is relatively new to many Western palates. Decidedly not a neutral spirit, Tingala offers a modern alternative to traditional American drink choices, whether enjoyed straight or in cocktails.

A savory, spiced liqueur, Tingala’s flavor is evocative of fruits, citrus, and allspice. The flowers we use add a flavor all their own. Tingala has a wonderfully fragrant nose. Its characteristic, delightfully tongue-buzzing taste develops in the first sips and lasts for several minutes.

HOW TO USE IT 

Tingala is made for mixing, offering new possibilities for modifying cocktails. It is equally satisfying in both dry and sweet mixed drinks. It is best served at room temperature or slightly chilled.

  • Enjoy in cocktails.
  • As a shot drink, add a splash of water or simple syrup, or serve 1:1 with a favorite spirit or mixer.
  • Create a dramatic first impression for any cocktail by using Tingala as a float, rinse, or top spray.

APPROACH

Tingala is made in Denver, Colorado, handcrafted in small batches, using only fresh, hand-picked flowers and other all natural ingredients. We co-pack with local bottlers to finish our product.

Tingala is intentionally LESS SWEET than some other liqueurs, using healthier dextrose. We don’t ask our customers to pay for added sugars. Compared to many traditional cordials that are laden with sweeteners, Tingala is lighter, making it a more flexible ingredient for use alone or in mixed drinks.

BOTANICAL TO BOTTLE

We bottle Tingala liqueur at 50% ABV/100 proof in Denver, Colorado. We use fresh spilanthes (acmella alba) flowers flown to us overnight from U.S. growers, top-notch corn-based neutral spirits, and pure Colorado water. We also use crushed real cinnamon (no extracts), a common addition in traditional European herbal spirits, to complement the exotic tingling taste of the flowers. Tingala is all natural and gluten free.

Higher alcohol brands such as Tingala have been moving into the mainstream in recent years. Used as a cocktail accent, or base or split base, Tingala brings classic American expression to cocktails while adding one-of-a-kind character. Tingala is higher proof to allow the best expression of its distinctive flavor, which also provides shelf stability for its fresh ingredients.

Tingala’s higher ABV and concentrated flavor also help reduce packaging waste. We believe that today’s drinkers know that higher ABV (alcohol by volume) liquors add value.

Nothing else tastes or feels like Tingala.