Part of our aim is to work with local farmers to take surplus or unwanted produce and use it to create delicious spirits and limited editions. This partnership benefits the farmer as we are are able to take away the produce while paying a price for what may otherwise go to landfill.
One summer day I received a call from a local farmer who had a couple of hundred kilos of raspberries in his cold store that would not go to his supermarket customers. There's nothing really wrong with them - a bit of sun bleaching, a bit misshapen - but perfect for us.
You can't ferment raspberries - there's not enough sugar in them - so making an eau de vie by fermenting then distilling the fruit is not possible. Well, it is possible but you wouldn't get very much for your trouble!
In Germany they therefore create a Geist (as opposed to a Wasser, the fermented schnaps). To make a Geist you steep your berries in wheat spirit for a month or so and then redistil the spirit in your pot still as usual.
You have to use a lot of raspberries! The flavour of a Geist is very delicate and so it is only reduced in strength as much as necessary. The spirit comes out of the still at about 85% abv and we reduce it to 40% to bottle it.
We don't add back rasperry juice to colour and sweeten the liquid to make a Raspberry Liqeur. We want it crystal clear, strong and fragrant.
We like to drink it with tonic, like a gin, or with lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white as the classic sour cocktail. Enjoy!