What is Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin?
The tri-border region between Germany, Luxembourg and France at the heart of Europe gives rise to an exceptional hand-crafted product from two traditional producers whose methods have already shaped this region’s style and reputation. Independent of their mutual friendship, they all instantly agreed on one point: They wanted a gin that reflected their own region with all its highlights and with the emphasis on quality.
Only the highest-grade late and selected harvest wines from the large Saarburger Rausch vineyard site are used for the gin’s wine infusion. Highly aromatic herbs and fruits, both from their own cultivation in the Saar region and from the incomparable steep shale slopes (vineyards) of the Saar, round off the flavour. Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin combines the best of this beautiful region.
Where did it all start?
Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin owes its name to the royal Prussian District Forester Ferdinand Geltz, the historical figure who also co-founded the VDP Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Zilliken estate, one of Germany’s finest vineyards. The vineyard is located on the grand Saarburger Rausch site, which is widely known for its rich mineral soil, believed to make each botanical really shine through in this gin. If provenance matters to you, the traceability of this gin is impeccable as the majority of the botanicals are locally sourced.
The makers behind Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin are Andreas Vallendar and his Avadis Distillery in Wincheringen, Dorothee Zilliken from the VDP Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken estate in Saarburg and the marketing company Capulet & Montague in Saarbrucken. All three partners, through their varied educational background in different disciplines, came together to create a gin that reflected their home region
What sets Ferdinand’s Saar Gin apart?
This is when things get even more interesting and where the gin makes it mark as being truly different. Once the distillation is over, Andreas finally rounds-off the spirit with a precise measure of Schiefer Riesling. The semi-sweet Rieslings from the Saar are noted for their elegance and fruity radiance and in time, these qualities come through in the gin. Having been left to rest for a period of four weeks, Ferdinand’s is set to a drinking strength of 44% ABV using demineralised water, then filled into nostalgic-looking wine bottles and enclosed with a natural cork sealed in beeswax.
Gin Tasting notes – Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin infused with Slate Riesling
Thirty organic botanicals infused with Schiefer Riesling constitutes the basis for this very interesting gin from Germany. On the nose, Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin has floral and grassy lemon notes. The grapes are recognizable too along with soft juniper. To taste, the gin really comes to life with lavender and rosecups coming to the fore and huge Riesling flavours in the mix. The juniper doesn’t quite play second fiddle, but it’s much more subtle in this botanically intense gin. With a profile reminiscent of G’Vine Floraison but, dare we say it – better balanced – the grape makes Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin stand out as something truly unique.
Key Botanicals: Juniper, lavender, thyme infused with Riesling.
Gin Tasting notes – Ferdinand’s Quince Gin
The Quince in this gin are freshly harvested pear quinces which are grown right next to the Ferdinand distillery which goes on to form their regional homage to British Sloe Gin – Ferdinand’s Saar Quince Gin.
Master Distiller Andreas Vallendar combines carefully hand-picked Riesling grapes from the Zilliken estate and over 30 finely balanced botanicals from the vineyards and our own cultivation.
The Quince Gin is infused with 2011er Rausch Kabinett, which in 2013 was awarded 92 points by Gault Millau and was distinguished as the best cabinet wine of the year.
This golden gin from the Saar symbolises the perfect balance between sweet, sour and bitter. The two most dominant notes are juniper and lemon. This would make a glorious aperitif due to its sweetness being rather subtle and cautious.
Behind the Bitters
Ferdinand’s Bitter Sweet Symphony are devoted to the principal regional botanicals of the Saar Dry Gin. They are used to emphasise the botanicals’ exceptional taste and the distinctive character of the Saar region in a highly concentrated from. The perfect aromatic enhancement for your gin.
Never thought about using bitters with your gin or cocktails?
If you look at any cocktail book printed in the early twentieth century, you are fairly certain to come across several recipes that require the use of bitters. Made using herbs and citrus fruits, bitters were popularly used in the eighteenth and nineteenth century as medicinal preparations to help cure various ailments.
A good bitters (which these are) can really transform a cocktail from average to incredible and with the renaissance of classic cocktails, biters are really coming into their own. Treat bitters like a spice. It’s really potent. Just a small drop adds a whole new dimension to a drink.
Ferdinand’s LemonThyme Smash
A fresh treat for a summer’s evening.
50ml Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin
30ml lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
20ml sugar syrup (1:1)
2 dashes of Ferdinand’s Rubinette Apple – Lemon Thyme Bitters
4-5 sprigs of lemon thyme
Garnish: lemon thyme
Press lemon thyme sprigs in a shaker. Add all other ingredients with ice and shake. Double strain into a pre-chilled tumbler over fresh ice.
Where can I buy Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin, Quince Gin and Bitters?
UK distributor: http://www.amathusdrinks.com/
International orders: http://www.saar-gin.com/gin