I’m always interested in gins from other countries and, whilst there are plenty of gins available from Spain, France, and Germany, I’d only ever tried one from Italy and, as nice as it was, that was a pretty standard, classic style gin.
As a result, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to try the hand-crafted Fred Jerbis gin, made by L.F. Opificium in Spilimbergo, North-east Italy. It uses five different production methods to capture its wide range of botanical flavours:
Cold Maceration of Fresh Herbs
Cold Maceration of Dried Herbs
Fred Jerbis is bottled at 43% ABV and the gin is made using 43 different botanicals, including: Juniper, Angelica, Lemon, Orange, Mandarin, Orange Blossom, Liquorice, Iris, Savory, Thyme, Lavender, Saffron, Mint, Anise, Fennel, Mountain Pine, Melissa, Masterwort, Clary Sage, Wormwood, Yarrow, Hyssop, Marjoram, and Aromatic Calamus, amongst others.
On its own
Nose: Intense and complex, with an array of herbs, fruits, roots and spices. There are notes of fruit cake – like panettone or stollen – as well as rich orange and hints of woody menthol and wintergreen.
Taste: Warm and cosy in flavour, with lots going on, despite it being pleasantly mellow. Notes of cedar and woody spice are followed by forest aromatics and hint of meadow flowers. The finish is full of citrus with a bitter-sweet orange that lingers on the palate.
Gin & Tonic
A herbaceous nose with a touch of sweetness. So fresh and genuine, this is wonderfully cool and inviting. There are flavours of wintergreen upfront, before fruity notes (such as grape) and then drier, leafy notes that work particularly well with the tonic.
An understandably drier drink than the Gin & Tonic, but less bitter, too. The soda allows some of the more subtle root notes to come through, such as dandelion & burdock. The orange is a little more in the background, replaced with vermouth-like flavours of anis, fennel, and artemisia.
Fragrant and somewhat floral. Smooth, but with plenty of flavour, this is a herbal Martini that’s raising to the appetite. The strong finish is of juniper, coriander, and citrus.
Very herbal, mellow, and smooth, with a pleasant, light jamminess that is reminiscent of fruit pastilles. There are also lovely elements of woody vanilla and spice, and sweet hints of anis and fennel. These are followed by a slight bitterness from the Campari, which is well-matched to the levels of juniper in this cocktail. Very good, indeed.
Fred Jerbis Gin is a complex gin with a wide array of botanical flavours, from bright juniper to fresh, leafy herbs; from sweet spice to citrus. This variety of flavour is a result of their combination of distillation and maceration, and provides a great deal to explore. My favourite drink was the Negroni.