“Rum, kontušovka, demon gin! Rowan berry brandy, walnut liqueur, cherry brandy and a vanilla!”
We knew about kontušovka from the above quotation from Jaroslav Hašek’s classic WW1 comic novel The Good Soldier Švejk, but had never tasted it. The original liqueur was manufactured in the early 20th century, and then disappeared from the market. Its production was renewed during the socialist era, but only as a mixture of herbal oils and flavourings. Then it disappeared again and we never had a chance to taste it.
A friend from Poland sent me a bottle of home-made kontušovka, which has a deep-rooted tradition there. I liked it, so I found the original Polish recipe and added some herbs and spices that were part of the Czech kontušovka during the interwar period. The first test macerate (45 litres) was set up on 17 November 2009.
We were overjoyed by the result! We found a wholly new type of liqueur, with flavours and tastes that we’d never encountered before. Commercial production was approved immediately. The first herbal kontušovka since the first Czechoslovak Republic was born.
The label and logotype was created by David Foldyna’s Creative Lab. We liked the very first design, and added to it the herbal graphics and a slogan: “Za císaře pána a jeho rodinu!” [“To the Emperor and His Family!”]