Flora Danica: What’s old is new again

Flora Danica: What's new is old again — Empirical Spirits

In 1752, botanist Georg C. Oeder set out to collect all of the plants in the Danish Kingdom into an encyclopedia. The book, “Flora Danica,” is the first of its kind and contains folio-sized images of the country’s native, wild plants. While the entire process from idea to execution took over a century, the ultimate tome succeeded in its initial ambition: to popularize the study of botany and enhance the general public’s knowledge of the various plants found throughout Denmark.

Flora Danica: What's old is new again — Empirical Spirits

We took a stab at our own interpretation of Flora Danica. At the end of this past summer, our R&D team went searching for interesting plants around the distillery and greater Copenhagen. In particular, they gathered ingredients that are typical of the landscape and quintessentially Danish in flavor: pineapple weed, also known as wild chamomile, rosehip seeds, Noble fir cones and Douglas fir cones. It’s a hyper-seasonal assortment that captures the final, lingering moments of Danish summer. 

Back in the distillery, we produced a low wine to individually macerate each of these ingredients in, and then distill each of the macerations to create a clear spirit. Separately, we use the macerated pineapple weed to make kombucha. We taste various cuts of the spirit and blend them back together to create our ideal flavor profile. To finish, the blend is rectified with the pineapple weed kombucha and aged in a cognac cask for one week.

Flora Danica: What's old is new again — Empirical Spirits

The resulting spirit is crisp and herbaceous with bright, menthol notes. Flora Danica, although a snapshot of summer, is apt for the holiday season: it’s complex and slightly bitter with spiced undertones.

 


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