Kinnie is a soft drink that
originates from the Mediterranean island of Malta. It was first developed in
1952 by Simonds Farsons Cisk.
Kinnie has a bitter sweet flavour and looks and tastes like an Italian style
alcoholic aperitif. It is drunk straight, or mixed with alcohol to create a long
Left: A can and glass of
Kinnie's distinctive amber colour makes it look similar to
cognac. It is difficult to describe the taste of such a beverage, however it is
sometimes referred to as a sparkling, non-alcoholic hybrid version of
Jaegermeister and Campari. The original and innovative taste of the product
resulted in Kinnie being awarded the prestigious L'épi d'Or de la Qualité
Internationale by the internationally renowned Paris institution, Comité
International d'Action Gastronomique et Touristique.
According to the Kinnie website, the beverage can be imbibed in many ways. It is
most often served with ice and a twist of orange, but sometimes mixed with
popular spirits. Kinnie’s bitter-sweet taste lends itself well to mixing and
enhances the flavour of most alcoholic drinks such as
vodka, whisky, rum and
wine among others. It can also be used as a top-up in a various cocktails. Vodka
with a Kinnie base is known as a 'Maltese passport'. When Russian
Standard vodka is used, the drink is sometimes called a Siberian beach.
Kinnie's recipe is a tightly kept secret. However the official website provides
further information about its ingredients, suggesting that Kinnie owes its
unique bitter-sweet taste to the blend Maltese Mediterranean chinotto bitter
oranges, combined with an infusion from a dozen different aromatic herbs and
spices such as anise, ginseng, vanilla, rhubarb and liquorice. Only natural
ingredients are used.
Over the years, Kinnie has made inroads in various countries,
due no doubt to the millions of tourists from Europe that have visited the
Mediterranean island of Malta.