Mangrove UK adds Copenhagen's Empirical

Mangrove UK has joined forces with Empirical to distribute the Copenhagen-based distillery’s spirits and RTDs.

Empirical’s founders, Lars Williams and Mark Emil Hermansen, have been creating spirits in their distillery since 2017. The duo said that “flavour is everything” and they are not afraid to experiment and innovate in their quest to find the perfect combinations. Their flavour inspiration comes from around the world. The two worked together at Noma, the two-Michelin star restaurant in Copenhagen, where Williams ran the test kitchen and Hermansen joined as concept manager, after completing his thesis on Nordic food at Oxford University.

James Goggin, Head of Sales at Empirical, said: “The team at Empirical are very excited to partner with Mangrove in the UK, Nick Gillett and the team have built an excellent brand portfolio and we are delighted to be a part of it.

“Time and time again the Mangrove team have shown that they are strong brand builders who value education, quality and flavour, this perfectly aligns with Empirical's values and was a defining factor on our decision to partner with them. London has become a home for us at Empirical and with Mangrove by our side in 2021 we are focusing on growing our reach across the entire UK.”

Nick Gillett, managing director at Mangrove UK further said: “2021 will see the return of the hospitality industry in the UK. We believe that a bold and forward-thinking approach to the future, working with brand partners who embody the finest spirits flavours that industry has to offer, will enable us to emerge from this pandemic ready to offer consumers the best brands.

“Empirical is a perfect fit for Mangrove – they are innovative and interesting; they champion local flavours with a global mind set. To me, they are flavour magicians who challenge the status quo and make our industry take notice with extreme flavour profiles that stage an assault on our senses. Already loved by chefs and more creative bar tenders, we’re looking forward to bringing their portfolio to a wider audience.

“Adding Empirical to our portfolio highlights our credentials as the UK’s leading premium spirits distributor, offering our partners in trade world-class products with a sense of purpose.”

The key products in the Empirical portfolio include Ayuuk, which is made using smoky Pasilla Mixe chilli sourced directly from Mixe farmers in the mountains of Oaxaca in Mexico. This is macerated in a spirit made from Danish heritage purple wheat and Pilsner malt.

The Plum, I Suppose is made from the kernel include plum stones. The producer said that rather than tasting of stone fruit, the kernel lends a marzipan, bitter almond flavour. Distilled marigold kombucha brings another side of floral and tannic notes, reminiscent of plum skins.

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