The Tatler Bar Recommends: 4 Unique Ferdinand’s Saar Gins to Know
While many imbibers can’t help but fall in love with gin’s distinct botanical notes that are mostly derived from its main ingredient, juniper berries, its growing appeal lies in the quality varieties now available. Unlike the production processes of Old World wines, cognacs and whiskies that are guided by strict laws, gin makers have the freedom of being as creative as they want, infusing the distillate with a bevy of other botanicals, herbs and spices.
This has also led to the creation of Ferdinand’s Gin, produced by the storied Avadis Distillery in the Saar-Mosel territory of Western Germany. The distillery’s location is at the heart of the area that’s famous for producing world-class Riesling wines, and its producers have taken full advantage of the fact.
“The semi-sweet Rieslings from Saar are world-famous for their elegance and fruity radiance, and display a maximum degree of extract density which adds a fundamental refinement to Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin,” explains general sales manager Michelle Lu of Malt & Wine Asia, the local distributor that first brought in the brand in 2019. Incorporating Riesling wines from the 300-year-old Zilliken Estate winery gives Ferdinand's Gin its unique character on the nose and palate. It's also the reason why the gin is as ideal on its own as it is as part of a cocktail.
There is, not surprisingly, a variety of Ferdinand's Gin to savour, including the following four that are available at TheTatlerBar.com to get you started.
Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin GoldCap
Avadis Distillery produces this once a year (and in limited quantities) by distilling juniper berries with an array of botanicals rarely used in gins—dried riesling grapes, Mirabelle plums, acacia shoots and cocoa beans, among several others. And in true Ferdinand’s Gin fashion, the spirit is infused with the finest Riesling from Zilliken Estate winery—one of Germany’s best winemakers. This gin is best enjoyed on its own to fully appreciate its fruity and floral-forward character and beautifully long finish.
Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin Cask Strength
Bottled at 66.6 per cent ABV and in small batches, this must-have bottle is well desired by the world’s best bartenders for its high alcohol content that is perfectly balanced with fruity and herbaceous notes, including juniper, lemon thyme and lavender.
"This powerful gin is particularly effective in cocktails," Lu affirms, noting as well how it serves as the perfect base to a delicious Dry Martini.
Ferdinand’s Saar Dry Gin
"The recipe for the Riesling-infused Ferdinand's Saar Dry Gin pays homage to the fertile landscape of the Saar region," shares Lu. It is, she explains, an intricate concoction of over 30 hand-picked herbs, spices and fruits (thyme, sloe and rosehip, among others) that are sourced within the region. These are macerated to make the eau-de-vie, which is then combined with the distillery’s distillate, produced using its unique blend of grains (wheat, rye and spelt). An extra steam infusion of freshly-harvested herbs gives the spirit extra floral notes, while the addition of wine from the Saarburger Rausch vineyard rounds it off with a fruity flourish.
Ferdinand’s Saar Quince
This gin is produced in a similar way to the Ferdinand’s Saar Dry—using 30 regional botanicals to make the distillate and finished with the Riesling Geltz Zilliken Rausch Kabinett for a touch of sweetness. But for something different, it is also infused with a rare variety of quince that's grown on site and freshly-harvested to add another layer of fruity characters to the flavour profile. "This is a regional homage to the British Sloe Gin and is the best match to making your summer cocktails," quips Lu.