Spirit of invention presses sludge into use
ALWAYS something new from the Klein Karoo.
This time Barrydale Cellars, not content with accolades received for its Cape Potstill brandy, has turned to the skins and pips of shiraz to produce a maiden grappa- style digestif called Joseph Barry Husk Spirit. They are lightly pressed then slow-distilled to a crystal-clear spirit.
Bottled in attractive 500ml frosted glass, which suggests that the spirit can benefit from chilling, master distiller Ferdie Smit describes the nose as one of raisin and nuttiness, followed by spice and grapeseed oil on the palate.
He suggests adding a twist of lemon zest for an aperitif, or giving lift to your espresso with a splash or two.
With the festive season at hand, this could make the spirited base for cocktails with strawberry or apple, or contribute to a stylish finale of lemon sorbet and mint whisked with bubbly and the spirit.
Finding “husk spirit” a name lacking appeal, I passed time in slow traffic dreaming up alternatives, one such being Essence of Shiraz. Southern Cape Vineyards CEO Riaan Marais likes this, but told me that the Wine & Spirit Board have decided that husk spirit must be used to delineate newly bottled grappa as the EU has stipulated that “grappa” may be used only for the Italian product from 2012.
Selling at R190 from the cellar and online at www. barrydalewines.co.za, the spirit should also be reaching liquor outlets by now.