Today I would like to once again review two bottles from the range of the Freimeisterkollektiv here. The Freimeisterkollektiv Wodka Sangaste by Sven Ivanov and the Freimeisterkollektiv Zitronenverbene (Geist) by Georg Hiebl (Zitronenverbene means lemon verbena in German). And, of course, there is still an exciting cocktail waiting for you, which today is made using the cold drip method. (provided test products)*
I have already written about Georg Hiebl and his working methods in the course of the Krauseminze (Geist), so today I would like to get straight to the point and see how well the lemon verbena will do as the protagonist herb in a spirit. Based on a wheat fine distillate, this spirit is produced on a copper still and finally bottled at 40% vol.
Aroma: yes, definitely lemon verbena, which exudes a fresh and aromatic fragrance as if some twigs had just been harvested. The fragrance is accompanied by a light, creamy note, as if you were smelling a sorbet or a milk dessert with lemon, but the lemon verbena spirit of Georg Hiebl still brings a greenish, fresh and spicy note, which clearly distinguishes it from a lemon spirit. I like it very much, even though you can already tell by the smell that you have to be careful with this spirit in cocktails.
Taste: Also on the palate this one offers an authentic impression. Lemon verbena in its pure form with a slightly woody undertone, which brings associations of fine Szechuan pepper. Here too, the spirit turns out with a hint of fine cream and offers an extremely intense, pure taste. The alcohol is perfectly integrated, nothing is disturbing here.
Finish: spicy, long, lemon verbena through and through
Second, I have the Freimeisterkollektiv Vodka Sangaste in front of me. It comes from the Estonian distiller Sven Ivanov, who runs the second oldest vodka distillery in the world and the last remaining one in Estonia. We learn about the production steps on freimeisterkollektiv.de (loosely translated by myself):
The whole grain of Sangaste winter rye is first ground and mashed, then sugared and fermented with green malt and organic yeast. After 72 hours of fermentation the mash has 8% alcohol. It is distilled by Sven Ivanov and his team in a column distillery, using different columns for special separation processes.
At the end of the very slow distillation, the vodka has an alcohol content of 96.7% vol. and is stored for at least six months before it is brought to the typical Estonian drinking strength of 50% vol. with spring water from the Pandivere plateau. Well then!
Aroma: Yes, there they are again, my difficulties with tasting vodka. Immediately I notice that I have to shift back a few gears here in order to get closer to the fine and very volatile aroma (compared to other types of spirit). But well, this vodka offers more than the first random grain vodka that comes along where I often find nothing at all. Here, I find a slightly creamy note, which transports grain nuances, but that’s all it is. However, you won’t find any disturbing fusel note here either.
Taste: Yes, here too I have to emphasize that the following impressions are comparably weak and fleeting, but they are there after all. This vodka will probably not make me a passionate vodka drinker, but it does bring a little liquorice and fennel, which I like very much. I also find the officially described lemon tones and a little vanilla in the form of a slightly creamy note.
Finish: rather short with nuts and crystal salt
I used both spirits today in a Cold-Drip-Cocktail. In a way, this is a Negroni, which is first stirred and then takes on its final characteristic through ground coffee, drop by drop, before it is finally served on ice. In the past, I once wrote about the Dripster, with which I also prepared this drink. Since a little of the liquid volume is lost in the cold drip process, you have to calculate a little more.
Recipe “Cold Drip Lemon Verbena Negroni”:
1 cl Freimeisterkollektiv lemon verbena (spirit)
2.5 cl Freimeisterkollektiv Wodka Sangaste
4 cl Campari
4 cl Punt e Mes
Preparation: Mix all ingredients without ice and put them into a cold dripper. Drip through ground 100% Arabica coffee (I recommend a fruity variety) and finally serve cold on ice.
Garnish: Orange zest
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online
*The fact that these products have been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.