Tingala was first crafted here in Colorado using the tingflower, a native flower to the Amazon River basin of Brazil and Peru that has a natural tingling flavor, by father and son Robert Tews and Eric. Robert, a gardening and distilling aficionado started growing the flowers and got the idea to use them in making spirits.
“I was sitting on the back porch with my dad and a buddy and at the moment we all knew this was something that the world had to know about. It was different. Like nothing else out there,” said Eric.
The duo began the process of creating a recipe for new type of liqueur and a technique that best extracted the unique properties of tingflowers.
Fast-forward a few years.
Tingala was looking to bring the new taste to as many people as they could. At this time Mile High Spirits was about to open up in downtown Denver. One afternoon Eric stopped by and slipped a note asking them if they would be interested in making a liqueur for them. Later that day, he got a call and the Tingala – Mile High Spirits relationship was born.
Tingala is the first 100 proof floral liqueur in the world made with tingflowers. At 50 percent alcohol by volume you will definitely note the tingling flavors with hints of cinnamon and a slight sweetness that can be enjoyed straight or mixed into a cocktail.
Describing Tingala to someone who has not experienced it does not do the liqueur justice. I can tell you about the tingling feeling I had going on in my mouth, but drinking Tingala is moreover an experience than a feeling or a taste. While Tingala can be enjoyed year round, I see it as becoming a staple in spring and summer cocktails as it has more of a fruitiness then vodka or tequila.
When drinking Tingala straight, as Eric points out, you need to sip it first, keep it in the front of your mouth to really get that tingle sensation. It’s a sip and then shot type of experience.
Tingala can be enjoyed numerous ways. This summer switch up your traditional gin and tonic for a Tingala and tonic or the Tingala version of a Boilermaker, an IPA and shot of Tingala.
According to legend, wasps stung the flowers, which gave them their tingling flavor. This legend has been incorporated into the brand’s logo, which depicts a wasp and provides imagery for the experience you are about to enjoy.
Tingala received government label approval in late December 2012 and has been available at Mile High Spirits in cocktails for the past several months. Starting on March 29 Tingala will be available to purchase by the bottle from Mile High Spirits for $29.99.
Tingala offers drinkers of fine liqueurs a flavor experience like nothing they have encountered before. Look for it in additional Denver area bars soon.