Saluti! The Taste of Bella Italia—Bottled in Hamburg.
Why wait for the perfect travel conditions? 25hours Hotels partnered with Nordcraft and Si Puó Fare Bio to bring a taste of summer right to your own backyard with two COMPANION aperitivos.
When 25hours Hotels Managing Director and COMPANION founder Steffen Fox (together with colleagues Michael End, Christoph Hoffmann, Bruno Marti, and Henning Weiss) got the idea of creating a high-quality gastronomic bitter liqueur that would be easy to drink, refreshingly user-friendly, and unique to the market, who better to help bring their idea to fruition than third-generation spirit (the drinkable kind) guru Rainer Hosie and master distiller Mario Gallone?
The Hosie name goes way back. In 1918, Rainer Hosie’s grandfather Charles George Hosie founded a Hanseatic trading company, dealing mainly in delicatessen items. But much later, when Bacardi white rum was added to their list of imports, the company was catapulted into becoming the leading spirit import dealer in Germany. Eventually Bacardi noticed, and bought the Charles Hosie company in 1993.
In the meantime, Rainer himself was busy practicing law in Hamburg. But he could never really shake his inherent connection to the spirit industry. “People always naturally assumed I was a spirit dealer since it was in the family. Eventually I called Bacardi and told them I wanted to get the company back.”
Now, Rainer can truly call himself a spirit dealer. Together with Mario Gallone, they created Nordcraft GmbH, a Hamburg-based distillery. Not satisfied with mere production, Nordcraft is also a creative lab of sorts, a hub for practicing the art and craft of authentic, traditional distillation. Only high-quality ingredients go into their signature products—dry botanical spirits, with unconventional concoctions like dill with cucumber and red beet with beer.
This unique, innovative, and carefully curated approach is also part of the genetic makeup of the two COMPANION aperitivos. Mario Gallone not only infused COMPANION Amalfi Lemon with gallant and rhubarb roots, but also added aromatic herbs like Alpine mug wort, wormwood, and oregano, which impart a light and subtle spiciness. As for the lemons? “Amalfi lemons are known for being the most aromatic in the world, and they create a surprising and original new flavour not found on the market today,” Mario says.
COMPANION Sicilian Orange on the other hand uses orange peels that are mixed with gentian and violet roots, as well as cinchona bark. Aromatic herbs such as wormwood, marjoram, and chiretta contribute to its complex taste.
The oranges themselves are organically grown in Sicily, sourced from the socially-committed cooperative Si Puó Fare Bio (meaning “It works!”). The owner, Francesco Caristia, explains: “We started in 2015, with the idea of creating new spaces for integration through social farming. The workers in our cooperative are people with physical and mental disabilities, refugees, and those with problems stemming from addiction: each one has their role and works according to their abilities. Si Puó Fare Bio created a large family, and we hope that it grows through our joint efforts."
However, the cooperative is not only dedicated to helping people. They own over 220 hectares of previously neglected and abandoned fields in and around Noto, Sicily. "From the onset we chose to focus on an entirely organic way of farming, in order to represent our territory and the values that inspire us," says Francesco. With their three processing plants, Si Puó Fare Bio not only grows organic vegetables and other citrus fruits (including lemons, mandarins, grapefruit), they also produce juices, jams, and fermented vegetables. And let’s not forget the delicious oranges used in COMPANION Sicilian Orange!
So go ahead and enjoy the aperitivos either on their own (on ice as a digestive), or as part of a mixed drink.
Both COMPANION aperitivos are available at all 25hours Hotels, as well as at select supermarkets throughout Germany, and online at charleshosie.de/shop.
- 50 ml COMPANION Sicilian Orange
- 30 ml soda water
- 120 ml Prosecco
Serve over ice, add some slices of fresh orange, and decorate with mint.
- 50 ml COMPANION Amalfi Lemon
- Some lemon zest
Serve over ice, drizzle with some tonic water, and decorate with thyme.