Spirit of in­ven­tion presses sludge into use

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODDRINKING -

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.

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