The mountaineers’ best friend,. Kendal Mint Cake, has had a rebirth – as an alcoholic liqueur.
The drink is the brainchild of Mike Pennington, owner of a wine bar in the Cumbrian town that gives the confectionery its name. Drawing upon his grandfathers mint cake recipe, Pennington used his mixing skills to create an alcoholic liqueur and tested it on customers.
Word spread and because of growing demand, a company was set up to market the drink across the world.
With orders riding daily, production has had to be automated. Last month 10,000 bottles were produced. The liqueur has been enjoyed in Australia, Switzerland and Thailand and recently and order was received from Germany after it was a hit at a whisky festival.
Kendal Mint Cake, traditionally produced from peppermint, sugar and glucose for more than 100 years, is famous for having been to the top of Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary and is used by explorers for its high energy.
Now the liqueur, with a distinctive green colour, is set to appear in bars and restaurants. It contains mint, cacao and secret ingredients that are fused with alcohol and sugars. The liqueur is 24% alcohol by volume.
Pennington said he came up with the idea while working at the wine bar he has run for 30 years. “I was in a cocktail mixing mood and thought, ‘wouldn’t it be good to make something with the flavour of Kendal Mint Cake’. It is such an iconic brand,” he said.
“Being a Kendal lad, I was brought up on it. I have spent many a happy hour on the fells, munching mint cake with my grandad.”