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Video: Fred Jerbis: You absolutely must try Italian artisan gin
2023 Author: Cody Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 19:13
Pay attention to it, where there are flowing beards and handlebar mustaches, Milanese frenzy and gourmet fashion, there is more and more often the gin.
Italian and artisanal Gin, we specify, with specialized labels that are small and still difficult to find, but which multiply by pouring out exceptional products as happened to the pioneers of craft beer twenty years ago.
The movement, the new pride of Made in Italy, now has about twenty labels, each with its history, its curiosities and characteristics.
Even with yours botanicals (the ingredients, spices, herbs, berries and flowers used to flavor the gin), an expression to be remembered because it is now synonymous with food and wine worldliness.
BRIEF HISTORY OF GIN
The first appearance of a distillate from unmalted cereals dates back to 1600, it is Dutch “Jenever”, welcomed with enthusiasm especially in England and adopted as an indigenous liqueur to counter the success of cognac, produced by bitter French rivals.
The first English creation is called Old Tom gin, similar in sweetness to Dutch Jenever.
Then, in 1762, we arrive at a drier product obtained from Alexander Gordon by distilling agricultural alcohol twice with the addition of juniper and other botanical groups.
He was born the London Dry Gin.
There are three macro categories of this distillate, London Dry Gin, precisely, (Compound) Gin, in which the essential oils of the various botanicals obtained by pressing or distillation or other ingredients are added to the agricultural alcohol, and Distilled Gin, the category that allows different types of processing.
Compound gin compounds and distilled gins had great success in the early 2000s, when products such as German arrived on the market Monkey 47 or the Scotsman Hendrick's, an original mix of two distillates with the cold addition of cucumber essences and rose petals.
ITALIAN ARTISAN GIN
Fred Jerbis, one of the most interesting Italian artisan gins, is initially the side-project of Federico Cremasco, barman from Polcenigo (PN) and teacher of mixology.
The name of the product, which combines the citation of who invented it (Fred) with the word herbs in Friulian (Jerbis), indicates a distillate of 43 botanicals different (including juniper, angelica, lemon, orange, mandarin, thyme, lavender, mint, anise, fennel, mountain pine, lemon balm, iris, imperatoria, savory, clary sage, wormwood, yarrow, licorice, saffron, flowers orange, hyssop, marjoram, aromatic calamus, some bio), the same number of its alcoholic degrees.
The quantity is unusual, but if Fred Jerbis, on the market for only 6 months, has managed to become the little star of the Italian artisan gin phenomenon, it means that the road traveled so far is the right one.
The strengths are an in-depth study of plants, a complete botanical laboratory and an accurate and well-established extraction method from botanical herbs.
Never as in this case the strength lies in the short supply chain made in the hilly area of the Friulian pre-Alps: knowing the exact origin of each ingredient helps to create products capable of standing out.
Federico Cremasco explains:
“Fred Jerbis is the result of a work that lasted 5 years, I started in 2010 from the cultivation of the plants necessary for the botanicals, which have a different yield depending on the hours of exposure to the sun and where they are planted, experimenting with some that are not used.
My experience, which includes many hours of operation with a small still, goes back to the Italian liqueur tradition and, for each plant, always starts with semi-finished products such as coriander tincture.
Fred Jerbis is the product of a team effort: the steam distillation done by Carlo, the food technologist who grows most of the herbs used. The extraction of the dried part with the hot-cold method that gives the liqueur its characteristic golden color, is the responsibility of the aromatiere Marco. The distillation in alcohol of only juniper that takes place in the Opificio in Spilimbergo, where the various components are finally combined.
As far as percentages and dosages are concerned, the ancient recipe of an Italian aromatiere adapted to the present day is followed.
Which category does Fred Jerbis belong to?
It could be labeled as a cold compound gin, a gin made by cold infusion, with no second distillation.
In practice, the other botanicals are then added to the distillate based on cereals and juniper to macerate for about ten days. But in reality its processing is precisely more complex.
It can be drunk neat as a digestive taking advantage of the characteristics of herbs, as part of glorious Gin Tonic or numerous cocktails, from revisited classics such as Martinez or Singapore, to the surprising Gin Grass.
Given the success, again under the Fred Jerbis brand, vermouth (another protagonist of this exciting relaunch of Italian liqueurs), aperitif bitters, aromatic products (such as Angostura), amaro and for next autumn a couple of new gins are on the launch pad..
We asked Federico for a recipe to brighten your evenings with friends
20 ml fresh lime juice
10 ml liquid sugar
40 ml Fred Jerbis gin
Crush the raspberries together with the liquid sugar, then add the lime, gin and ice and then shake. Finish with the ginger ale (or rather the ginger beer, if you have it available) and serve.
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