• Andreas Heiß

Spiritual entertainment.

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080 Stil 1ByHof Whiskyseminar061To produce a high-percentage digestive yourself is the wonderful conclusion of an evening among friends. Sommelier Andreas hot, owner of the Genuss-Akademie.tirol in Vils, inspires for a special hobby.

Imagine you've cooked for friends and it's time for dessert. Before serving profiteroles with mascarpone filling and a icing net, put your little distillery right in the middle of the table and ask around:  Welchen Digestiv do you want it? Coffee Spirit mit Schokoaromen and Chili? Lemongrass with limes? Raspberry with ginger? Or a Christmas spirit aus Zimt and carnations?

My great passion is aromas and fragrances. And the search for answers to the question of how I distill these best from the plants.

As you can see, I'm not interested in the intoxicating effect of alcohol, but in creativity. And the possibility, so to speak à la minute, to create a very special one, individuellen Genussmoment.

In my Genussakademie in Tirol, most guests want to learn how to make a spirit. This very simple procedure is called steam infusion. All you need is a small two-litre burner. It costs just 499 euros and takes up no more than 50 by 45 centimetres of space. You can use 96-prozentigen Weingeist, grain or vodka as a basis. Fill the aroma basket with the ingredients of your choice, open the burner and wait a little. At temperatures above 75 degrees the distillate begins to drip from the cooler. Danach to lower the burner. The spirit should not run, but dribble at a steady pace.

Now you can watch and now and then try with a small spoon. Der further firing process still takes about three quarters of an hour. You'll be surprised. The smell and taste of your mind are constantly changing. Sometimes one aroma comes to the fore, then another. This voyage of discovery will be fun for your friends.

When you have enjoyed your profiteroles, your mind is ready too. Nun you still have a nice occupation for your table company. Because your spirit is still much too high-percentage. Mit an hydrometer the alcohol content can be determined. The alcohol concentration can be diluted to the desired level using a formula found in the firing literature. I advise about 43 percent, but of course you do it the way you like it.

You do the same with sugar. Zucker is a wonderful aroma carrier. Glauben Sie me: Even though it is officially frowned upon, almost all noble distillates that you buy in specialty shops contain a little sugar.

The production of a spirit therefore has nothing to do with the classical legends about "burning". You do not have to prepare a mash laboriously and protractedly first. And you don't have to be afraid of accidents. The harmful methanol and the inedible feed are created only beim Brennen mit Maische. In of your own Genussakademie you already use distilled, pure alcohol. Da nothing can happen.

Another advantage: Sie do not necessarily get problems with customs. The spirit is made of taxed and duty paid alcohol. This "alcoholic cleaning" must theoretically be notified to customs in Germany and Switzerland one week in advance. Oh yes - and in these two countries you may only own the plant itself for the purpose of producing essential oils. But where no plaintiff, there kein Richter.

A real trend is just the production von Gin. This also works with steam infusion. Gin is juniper plus x. This X can be all the herbs and spices you find in the kitchen. Auch the cutting of tea bags is allowed. I show my guests on an aroma cross what is possible between spicy, citrus-heavy, fruity or floral. Already they begin to sniff, to consider which aromas harmonize - lemon, orange, ginger, lemon balm, cardamom? Lavender, rose, hibiscus, chamomile? If you also have different tonic waters, I guarantee you that your evening invitation will be a complete success. ®

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