Oliver Matter und Tempus Fugit

Oliver Matter produces some products that convince us as cocktail ingredients and have grown very close to our hearts. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce him, his distillery, Tempus Fugit and the Tempus Fugit products in more detail.

Oliver Matter and the history of Matter-Luginbühl AG

The great-grandfather Ernst Luginbühl-Bögli with cow.
The great-grandfather Ernst Luginbühl-Bögli with cow. [19]

From 1920, Ernst Luginbühl-Bögli marketed the Turin Martinazzi bitters, whose recipe he acquired in 1928 so that he could produce them in Switzerland. [4] [5] [6]

Martinazzi truck.
Martinazzi truck. [19]

In 1947, the Löhr farm near Seedorf in the canton of Bern became his property and he began to cultivate an old plum variety from the Bernese Seeland there, which he called Löhrpflümli. Today, this is considered one of the best prunes for distillation. In addition, he kept cattle as a hobby. [2] [4] [5] [6]

Postcard of the family business.
Postcard of the family business. [19]

His two sons Paul and Hans took over the Aarberg-based company at the end of the 1950s, which then traded under the name “E. Luginbühl-Bögli & Söhne”. The company consisted of a farm, a restaurant, a shop with wine trade and a distillery when it was split up in the third generation. No one wanted the distillery, but it was eventually taken over by the founder’s granddaughter, Elsbeth, and Christian Matter-Luginbühl in 1985. Their son Oliver joined the company in 1996 and the distillery was moved from Aarberg to Kallnach. [5] [6]

Oliver Matter.
Oliver Matter. [19]

Finally, in 2005, Oliver Matter and his wife Nicole took over the company, which now exists as Erlebnisbrennerei Matter-Luginbühl AG in the fourth generation. [6]

Since the legalisation of absinthe on 1 March 2005, Oliver Matter has specialised in the reproduction of old absinthe recipes. The first absinthe was the “Kallnacher Absinthe”, whose recipe comes from the Val de Travers. This valley had become the centre of absinthe production from the middle of the 19th century until absinthe was banned in 1905. [1] [2] [6]

In collaboration with Markus Lion, the absinthes of the eponymous series were created according to old recipes of the absinthe distillers Duplais and Brevans, as well as the absinthes “Mansinthe” and “Nouvelle Vague”. [2] [3] [4] [6]

The distillery.
The distillery. [19]

Together with Tempus Fugit Spirits, Gran Classico Bitter, Kina L’Aéro d’Or, Fernet del Frate Angelico, Crème de Cacao à la Vanille, Crème de Menthe Glaciale, Crème de Noyaux and Liqueur de Violettes were created. [4] In addition, the Martinazzi Bitter, numerous other liqueurs, brandies and also vermouth, gin and whiskey are also in the range. [6]

Some of Oliver Matter’s products convince us. They have been proven as a cocktail ingredient. We would like to present the Tempus Fugit products below here, but first we would like to briefly discuss Tempus Fugit.

Tempus Fugit

Tempus Fugit Spirits was founded in 2006 by John Troia and Peter Schaf. [8] Their concern is to make forgotten spirits from the times before Prohibition, which are no longer available or are difficult to obtain today, available again. In most cases, they developed these spirits using historical recipes from the 19th century. The aim is to match the historical examples or even surpass them in terms of taste and quality. Nowadays, mainly mass-produced products are available, often with artificial flavourings and colourings. These are to be opposed by handcrafted and traditionally produced, high-quality products. The focus is on those alcoholic ingredients that are added to the basic spirits in a cocktail. [7] In addition to the products developed together with Oliver Matter, Tempus Fugit also developed a replica of Abbott’s Bitters. [9] Another focus is on absinthe. For example, Peter Schaf developed the “Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe” and has also been involved in the development of over 25 European absinthes since 2001. [7]

Gran Classico

Tempus Fugit - Gran Classico.
Tempus Fugit – Gran Classico. [19]

Gran Classico is a so-called “Turin bitter” and is based on a recipe from 1864. [10] [12] [13] [24] This original Italian recipe for the Martinazzi bitter was acquired in 1928 by Ernst Luginbühl-Bögli, the founder of Matter-Luginbühl AG, for the production of the bitter in Switzerland, after he had started to distribute it in Switzerland eight years earlier. [4] [11]


Will Tell in Chicago 1934.
Will Tell in Chicago 1934. [19]

After the end of Prohibition, he presented the Martinazzi bitters at the 1934 World’s Fair in Chicago, but for legal reasons under the name “Will Tell”, because the international sales rights were still in Italy. However, he did not succeed in gaining a foothold on the American market. [11]

Over the years, the composition of the Martinazzi bitters changed. Oliver Matter, great-grandson of Ernst Luginbühl-Bögli, created the Gran Classico based on the original recipe together with Tempus Fugit Spirits, which is basically the same as the original Martinazzi bitters. [2] [4] [10] [12] In autumn 2010, it was presented at the Tales of Cocktails in New Orleans. [10] The bitter is made by macerating 25 different herbs and roots in water and alcohol. Ingredients include bitter orange, wormwood, gentian, rhubarb, hyssop, without the addition of colourings or flavourings. [4] [10] [13] [14] [24]

Kina L‘Aéro d‘Or

Tempus Fugit - Kina L'Aereo d'Or.
Tempus Fugit – Kina L’Aereo d’Or. [19]

A kina is a wine aperitif that contains quinine, hence the name. Quinine was used as a remedy for malaria, and various typical recipes arose, depending on where it was made, to make it more palatable. [8] [15] [16] [23] The Kina L’Aéro d’Or is made for Tempus Fugit by Oliver Matter and reflects the style of the French Maritime Alps. It is based on a recipe by his great-grandfather and company founder Ernst Luginbühl-Bögli. The basis is a white wine made from Piedmontese Cortese grapes, to which an infusion of cinchona bark, orange peel, wormwood and other spices is added. [2] [8] [15] [16] [23] The golden-coloured Kina is named after a “golden aeroplane”, in homage to the first flight across the English Channel, which the Frenchman Luis Blériot achieved in 1909 with his self-developed monoplane. [15] [16] [23]

Fernet del frate Angelico

Tempus Fugit - Fernet del frate Angelico.
Tempus Fugit – Fernet del frate Angelico. [19]

Fernet is not a brand name, but a variety of Italian bitters. It is produced by many manufacturers, including Fernet Branca, the largest producer. Fernet was once used as a panacea or against cholera and malaria. Its origin, however, is unclear. One document suggests that it may have been developed by the monk Frate Angelico Fernet. [17] [22]

Ernst Luginbühl-Bögli acquired the recipe for Fernet del frate Angelico around 1930 from a well-known Italian distillery, from the widow Branca. [17] [18] [22] The recipe consists of almost 40 ingredients, including saffron, angelica root, mint, myrrh and honey. Since 2011, it has been produced again by Oliver Matter and distributed by Tempus Fugit. [18]

Crème de Cacao à la Vanille

Tempus Fugit - Crème de Cacao à la Vanille.
Tempus Fugit – Crème de Cacao à la Vanille. [19]

This Crème de Cacao is based on a historic recipe from the 19th century and is made from Venezuelan cocoa beans and Mexican vanilla beans. [20] [21]

The cocoa is distilled, then the distillate is macerated with cocoa and vanilla beans, which also adds the colouring to the Crème de Cacao. [14]

Where are the products available?

In the meantime, some of the products have become easier to obtain. To shorten the search for the sympathetic educational drinker, we recommend Lion Spirits from Eschbach near Freiburg im Breisgau as a source of supply in Germany. The owner, Markus Lion, works closely with Oliver Matter, and his products are easily available in his online shop. In Switzerland, you can get the products directly from Matter-Luginbühl AG, in the Erlebnisbrennerei Kallnach.

  1. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Val_de_Travers: Val de Travers.
  2. http://mixology.eu/portraets/markus-lion-oliver-matter/: Interview mit einem Löwen und einem Schweizer: Markus Lion und Oliver Matter. 1.8.2012 by Steffen.
  3. http://www.mansinthe.de/?page_id=47: Absinthe Mansinthe.
  4. http://www.erlebnisbrennerei.ch/Files/pdf%20presse/120129_sozeitung.pdf: Verrückt nach Bitter. Von Karin Oehmigen, Sonntagszeitung S. 76, 29. January 2012.
  5. http://www.absinthe.de/absinthe/schweiz/oliver-matter/?p=1: Oliver Matter.
  6. Matter-Luginbühl AG: Von der E. Luginbühl-Bögli Aarberg zur Matter-Luginbühl AG Kallnach.
  7. http://tempusfugitspirits.com/our-story: Our Story.
  8. http://www.tastingpanelmag.com/News/Industry-News/2014/Anchor-Distilling-Co-to-Import-Tempus-Fugit-Spir.aspx#.VRQjbeHD4mM: Anchor Distilling Co. to Import Tempus Fugit Spirits.
  9. http://abbottsbitters.com/about-abbotts-bitters: About Abbott’s Bitters.
  10. http://mixology.eu/likoere/verkostet-gran-classico-bitter/: Es wird immer bitterer. Gran Classico Bitterlikör in der Verkostung. By Marco Beier, 24. July 2013.
  11. http://www.erlebnisbrennerei.ch/index.asp?page=menu_3_1_43: Martinazzi Bitter Classic.
  12. http://www.erlebnisbrennerei.ch/index.asp?page=granclassico: Gran Classico Bitter.
  13. http://www.erlebnisbrennerei.ch/index.asp?shopaction=Product&ID=12695&Gran-Classico-Bitter: Gran Classico Bitter.
  14. http://tempusfugitspirits.com/liqueurs-cremes: Liqueurs & Crèmes.
  15. http://www.erlebnisbrennerei.ch/index.asp?shopaction=Product&ID=26891&Kina-L%27Aero-d%27Or,-18%25,-70cl: Kina L’Aero d’Or.
  16. http://tempusfugitspirits.com/kina-vermouths: Tempus Fugit Spirits. Kina L‘Aéro d‘Or.
  17. http://www.erlebnisbrennerei.ch/index.asp?shopaction=Product&ID=58435&Fernet-del-frate-Angelico: Fernet del frate Angelico.
  18. http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/bern/story/Berner-Schnaps-auf-Erfolgskurs-in-den-USA-10186289: Berner Schnaps auf Erfolgskurs in den USA. By Sophie Reinhardt, 15. May 2013.
  19. Photos kindly provided by Matter-Luginbühl AG.
  20. http://www.erlebnisbrennerei.ch/index.asp?shopaction=Product&ID=35848&Creme-de-Cacao-a-la-Vanille: Crème de Cacao à la Vanille.
  21. http://www.lion-spirits.de/likoer/tempus-fugit-spirits/674/creme-de-cacao-a-la-vanille: Creme de Cacao a la Vanille.
  22. http://www.lion-spirits.de/aperitif/bitter/697/fernet-del-frate-angelico: Fernet del frate Angelico.
  23. http://www.lion-spirits.de/aperitif/bitter/464/kina-l-aero-d-or: Kina l’Aero d’Or.
  24. http://www.lion-spirits.de/aperitif/bitter/270/gran-classico-bitter: Gran Classico Bitter.

explicit capitulum


Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.

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