Mentzendorff Kummel has, since 1823, experienced a remarkable history. It all starts and revolved about an old Manor House, called Allasch, in Livonia about 40 kilometres from the Baltic Port of Riga. The Barons passed on old family recipe according to which they made for the enjoyment of their friends a Kummel Liqueur called Allasch Kummel. An export firm in Riga, named Mentzendorff suggested to the Barons that they should make the Kummel for export. Other European Liqueur manufacturers began to imitate the liqueur and closely copied the label, without succeeding however to match the genuine ‘finesse’ of the original Mentzendorff Kummel. Nowdays, the Allasch Kummel is known under Mentzendorff Kummel. It is produced at Saumur, in France, by the oldest distillery in the Loire Valley, Combier distillery which was founded in 1834. Lucas Bols is believed to have produced the first Kummel in the 1570’s, around the time he began making gin. Made using cumin, a relative of the caraway seed, and the fiery qualities this spice brings to cooking gives an extra edge. Having originated in the region, kummel production has stuck stubbornly to north-western Europe and through the Baltic States and to Scandinavia. If your guests refuse to leave, uncork a magnificent magnum of Mentzendorff Kummel. This will ease the digestion of even the heartiest meals while keeping the party going indefinitely. Johnny Ray The Telegraph 29 November 2008.