Living in Belgium it is only natural to be a lover of gin and interested in all that is gin-related. While many claim fatherhood to gin, it seems quite logical that the origin has been the genever, the juniper-based alcohol of the low-countries. It is said that when William of Orange occupied the British throne, he imported this drink to the British isles.
The rest is history as they say. Except that gin is becoming very popular – rightly so – and some clever Danes have come up with an idea of how to combine the best of everything. The freshest and clearest water from the Greenland inland-ice mixed with juniper berries, bergamot, orange, angelica root and cardamom: The Isfjord Premium Arctic Gin – http://www.isfjord.com.
Greenland is rich in many things, not least fishing, nature and ice. But it is not easy to have other kind of industries so far away from the world market. The idea of using the water of the ice for distilling gin is remarkable and has also given a local boost to the economy. The licence to collect the ice is only for the pieces that naturally break of from the beautiful glacier in Illulisiat on the west coast of Greenland.
For me personally, having spent some beautiful sunny days around the glacier in Illulisiat some years ago, it is a remarkable experience to taste the view, the icebergs and the nature in a gin. You may say it colours my opinion, but I have to agree, that Isfjord Premium Arctic Gin is one of the smoothest gins I have tasted. The taste corresponds perfectly to the beauty of nature. The softness of the water does make a difference, at least for me, and the mix of herbs is just right to not overshadow the quality of the distilled liquid.
Of course the trick is to find the right way to mix this gin. I tried a Dry Martin with a squint of Noilly Prat and the zest of an orange. And it was delightful. Compared to other gins, the Isfjord allowed the Noilly Prat and the orange to take part in the drink, while still clear providing a solid basis of softness and gin-taste. I am now considering how to best drink the rest of the bottle. I am slightly reluctant to mix it with tonic water – I fear it will be the wrong way to fully appreciate the values of Isfjord Arctic Gin.
Last year, the company behind Isfjord Spirit of Greenland, won the coveted red dot award for communication design 2011. So it is also a pleasure to look at. And it is truly Greenlandish, as it has been included in the beautiful book of recipes using ingredients from Greenland, “Nerisassiassaatigut / Vores råvarer” (our ingredients), which you can find on www.greenlandtoday.com .
Regrettably, Isfjord is not (yet?) on the market in Belgium. But you can buy it in shops in Copenhagen, which is yet another good reason to go to Copenhagen.