Jorgensen's are a husband and wife team passionate about creating premium handcrafted spirits, which include the well established Savingnac Potstill Brandy, the Primitiv Vodka, Field of Dreams Absinthe, Naked Lemon limoncello and Jorgensen’s Gin.
Website www.jd7.co.za Phone +27 21 864 1777 Mobile +27 82 920 2595 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hangover free vodka?
“If you drink nothing but Primitiv Vodka all night, you won’t have a hang over the next morning!” This is what Dawn Jorgensen told us the first time we met. As unbelievable as it sounds, after visiting Jorgensen’s Distillery and hearing what Dawn’s husband - and ‘Still Man’ - Roger had to say, we can understand why.
During the alcohol-making process, fermentation produces around 15 different alcohols. In wine and beer, these are very diluted and consumed with little negative side-effect (as long as the drink is relatively high quality, that is). The distillation process, however, removes the water and produces only the purest form of the alcohols, many of which are either unpleasant to taste, or poisonous. Luckily, they all have unique properties such as molecular weights and boiling points, which allows the distiller to weed out the bad guys and keep the good guys (ethanol and a couple others with similar characteristics).
Heads or tails
The good guys appear in the middle of the scale in terms of molecular weight and boiling point, and are known as the ‘hearts’ in distillation-speak. The bad guys on either side of the hearts are known as the ‘heads’ and ‘tails’. The really nasty ones are the heads, which are the first ones to evaporate while the tails are the ones that give you the headaches – but they also give a lot of the character! This is why, Roger says, if you go on a whisky or brandy binge, you’re likely to feel a lot worse the next morning than if you’d binged on vodka or tequila. The character in whiskies and brandies are contained in a broader cut around the hearts than the purer alcohols. In the case of vodka, greater care taken in the distillation process will result in fewer bad guys being present in the final product. And Roger takes a lot of care.
More than organic
Not only care in the distillation process, but also care in sourcing only the finest ingredients for all the spirits Jorgensen’s produces. For the vodka, it’s organically grown spelt from the Cedarberg Mountains (which also gives the premium sipping-vodka a unique aniseed-like taste). For the absinthe, it’s home-grown organic herbs. In fact, most of Jorgensen’s ingredients are organic or wild-harvested and sustainable. They subscribe to the philosophy of the Voluntary Organic Commitment (VOC), started by Roger and based on the premise that just being ‘organic’ is not enough. It promotes a holistic approach to sustainable food production which looks at taking responsibility for the carbon footprint, waste stream, and packaging of one’s products. While they’re not anti-trade, Roger and Dawn say they are “becoming increasingly locavore” in their business and in their daily lives.
Their production is still pretty small-time (the distillery sits quaintly under an oak tree next to an old barn and they grind the spelt on a hundred year old mill) since they are still in the early days of their spirit-making marriage and loving the romance of it too much to be concerned with ramping up production just yet. Primitiv Vodka was released in August 2010, and in October and November last year they released the lively Naked Lemon limoncello and their mysterious-looking Field of Dreams absinthe. More recently they’ve created a lime liqueur, bay leaf liqueur and an African flavoured gin.
Who knows what will come next from these two passionate and adventurous people. They declare to love “capturing the wonder of (their) dream. We think you’ll taste this declaration in the wonderful flavour characteristics of their spirits too - and hopefully you won’t wake up with a hangover.
Roger, the 'Still Man', in his distillery with the alambic head
The organic spelt (grown in the Cedarberg) for the vodka base, and organic home-grown herbs for the absinthe. Vodka can be made from any raw material with alcohol potential, but the spelt gives the spirit interesting character that makes it good to drink straight up, on ice
Distilling out the 'tails' - the nasty guys that give you a headache if they're not carefully removed
The "ancient" mill - a hundred year old mill found on the Jorgensen's farm in Wellington was restored and is used almost daily to grind up the spelt for the vodka
You can purchase any of these premium spirits directly from the online shop on the Jorgensen's Distillery website.
There are some retail outlets and restaurants stocking their products too:
Retail - Western Cape
- Selected Pick & Pay's
- Obz Bottle Store - Observatory
- Ultra Liquors - Green Point
- Wine Concepts, Kloof (Savingnac)
- Wine Bums, Wellington (Primitiv, Limoncello, Gurls Gurls Gurls)
- Liquor Store Gardens (Primitiv)
- Tops Cape Quarter (Primitiv, Limoncello)
- Tops Vredehoek (Primitiv, Limoncello)
- Obz Bottle Store (Primitiv, Limoncello, Absinthe)
- Chapman’s Peak Bottle Store (Primitiv)
- Aroma Constantia (Primitiv)
- Tony’s Liquor West Beach (Primitiv)
- Shorty’s Blue Bottle Noordhoek (Limoncello)
- Bottle Top Rondebosch (Primitiv, Limoncello)
- Wine Village Hermanus (Savingnac, Primitiv)
- Blue Bottle, Kalk Bay (Primitiv, Limoncello)
Restaurants - Western Cape
- Table Bay Hotel (Savingnac, Primitiv, Limoncello)
Aubergine Restaurant (Savingnac, Primitiv)
The Grand Daddy Hotel (Primitiv)
The Round House (Savingnac, Primitiv, Limoncello)
The Meeting Place, Simonstown (Limoncello)
Terra Mare, Paarl (Savingnac, Primitiv)
Salt Vodka Bar (Primitiv)
Firefly Eating House, Knysna (Primitiv)
- Norman Goodfellows
And keep an eye on the list kept on their Primitiv Vodka facebook page under 'notes'. keep an eye out also for the very .co.za website (coming soon) for same day deliveries in Cape Town.
Tasting Jorgensens Vodka and Limoncello
Roger Talks Distillation
Meet Roger and Dawn Jorgensen
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