Tequila? Nein. Meet Selva Negra, the First Agave Spirit Made in Germany.
Agave spirits proceed to overcome the world when it comes to gross sales and recognition, with eager celebrities getting in on the profitable motion. And now producers in international locations outdoors of Mexico are making their very own agave spirits like Selva Negra, a brand new one hundred pc agave spirit made in Germany’s Black Forest.
Selva Negra can’t legally be referred to as tequila or mezcal, firstly as a result of these classes are protected by geographical indication in the identical method as bourbon or cognac. Additionally, the kind of agave used to make the spirit is the salmiana selection, which might take away it from the tequila class even when it have been produced in one of many Mexican states the place it’s allowed to be made (tequila can solely be produced from Blue Weber agave, however there are some mezcals produced from salmiana).
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Winemaker and distiller Florian Faude of Faude Feine Brande is liable for making Selva Negra, the primary agave spirit to be produced in Germany. It’s distilled utilizing extract from salmiana agave imported from Mexico, versus having complete agave pinas shipped to Germany. Wine yeast is added for the fermentation, turning the extract into an agave wine over the course of six to eight weeks earlier than it’s distilled twice. In between distillations, Selva Negra can be given a mezcal-like twist by infusing it with smoke from native German spruce wooden, however the technique used to truly introduce spirit to smoke is stored secret. For now, this spirit is barely accessible in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, so now we have not been capable of style it, however anticipate an agave-forward palate with notes of spruce, smoke and a little bit of fruit. Selva Negra is supposed for use in cocktails, and the official web site suggests some riffs on classics just like the Margarita, Paloma, Old Fashioned and Negroni.
For higher or for worse, relying on the place you come down on the idea, non-Mexican agave spirits have been popping up with extra frequency as of late. Australia’s Black Snake Distillery and Shelter Distilling in California are just some of the distilleries experimenting with making agave spirits outdoors the class’s conventional and ancestral borders. There are, in fact, many who look askance at this apply, arguing that it’s a mixture of cultural appropriation and dilution of an vital cultural signifier. Look no additional than the drama surrounding sotol—this Mexican spirit has a GI that isn’t presently acknowledged by the US, and is being made by American distilleries within the Southwest. And lots of bourbon drinkers have been in an uproar when Crown Royal put “Bourbon Mash” on the label of 1 its whiskies (it was subsequently eliminated). Nonetheless, given how popular agave spirits have change into, this pattern isn’t fading away anytime quickly. So for those who see a bottle of “peat-smoked Scottish agave spirit” on a shelf within the subsequent few years, bear in mind you heard it right here first.
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