The Rocky Mountains just outside of our back door, and the soaring peaks of Patagonia located at the other end of the planet, have many things in common. Both offer spots of solitude, majestic sunsets and unique cultures that feed off the magic of the mountains. Maybe that’s why Trä-Kál, the first spirit created in the heart of the Chilean Patagonia Mountains, seems to be such a natural fit here in Colorado.
How this imaginative sipper came to be gracing the shelves of Mile High liquor stores in the first place is quite interesting. The idea for creating a sprit that was made solely from items found in the Patagonia mountains first came into being four years ago in a quiet cantina tucked high in the Chilean peaks. That’s when Ben Long, a part time Colorado resident, and Sebastian Gomez Camorino of Chile, started talking over a few drinks in a cantina in Buenos Aries. After a few beverages they both agreed that there needed to be a drink that would embody the spirit of the mountains surrounding them, something different that the locals could call their own.
Two years and untold test batches later Gomez created a sprit that was unlike anything else found on the planet. In fact, the U.S. Government created its own classification when they applied for a license to sell here. Ignoring the grapes that are endemic to the Chilean hillsides they instead used local crab-apples, pears and berries as the base. To add some more depth and flavor they scoured the hillsides in search of herbs and botanicals that are endemic to the region, and then distilled their essential oils to ensure a consistent flavor profile.
Once the guys had their recipe nailed down they racked their head about what to name it. They began looking to the local hillsides where they first gained inspiration from the local hill tribes that have inhabited the rugged region for centuries. Trä-Kál loosely means “first into battle” in Huillichen, the local dialect.
After a few months of introducing the spirit to their fellow Chilean’s they decided it was time to head stateside with it. The first stop was Colorado, it just seemed like a natural spot to bring it. “Since we distill in a mountainous region similar to Colorado we think it’s best to enjoy it up high,” says Connor Green of Trä-Kál. At the end of 2017 they brought the first bottle here and it’s been spreading across the state.
It’s hard to nail down an accurate description of Trä-Kál when you first sip it. Is goes down as smooth as an aged whiskey but has complexities that normally would be found in a fine glass of gin. You can toss it into a cocktail to spice it up, or just drink it with tonic and an orange slice. It’s kind of like that pair of fat ski’s sitting in your garage that tear up the groomers along with the powder. It’s something that you did not realize that you needed until you stumbled upon it. Perfect for aprés ski or sitting by a roaring stream chasing trout.
Find Trä-Kál in 750 ml bottles in most major liquor stores throughout the state and taste this Patagonia treasure for yourself.