Scan Magazine, Issue 136, November 2021

Page 19

Scan Magazine  |  Culinary Profile – Made in Norway  |  Empress Brew

Anna Karenina Anda Barron and Christer Andersson, founders of Empress Brew.

the world of wine. It creates exciting flavours by combining teas, fermented fruits, vinegar and botanicals with a kombucha base. The winealts are mildly sweet with a tangy, acidic taste and palate-cleansing properties, lovely to pair with food or enjoy just like wine. Moonbrew Iridescent is like a pét-nat wine with a base of kombucha and fermented stone fruits, giving it a crisp and vibrant flavour with apricot, nectarine, elderflower and orange peel. It was referred to as “a fine stand-in for Champagne” in the Wall Street Journal feature Kombucha for Connoisseurs: The Best Bottles to Pair With Food by Julia Bainbridge. Through a collaboration with Oslo Brewing Co., Empress has also crafted two mead-inspired honey wines. Ficus Zing is a modern take on honey wine with an exotic blend of fig, cacao and cardamom in symbiosis with citrusy orange peel and a gentle ginger kick. Woodland is a respectful ode to the Norwegian forest, a harmonious mix of wildcrafted ling flowers, pine, juniper berries, birch bark and blueberry. It has an elegant floral aroma with leafy pine notes and fresh minerality. All three winealts are natural and free from additives, contain less than 0.5 per cent alcohol, and contribute to some perfect food pairings.

Close collaborations The founders have built a loyal community of followers through social media and continuously collaborate with local companies such as breweries and sustainable fashion and wellness brands. “We work with local farmers, foragers, tea and coffee importers, and other producers representing Norway,” confirms Anna. “Even if we are a fast-growing company, we haven’t forgotten what it’s

like to start a business. Working together means growing together.” Empress is available at cafés and restaurants, including some with Michelin stars. It can also be found in specialised shops and cocktail bars and at yoga studios, bakeries and coffee and tea houses, as well as Oda, the biggest food delivery business in Norway. The client base includes the yogi community and the fashion and design world, which hosts many events. One recent collaboration was with fashion house Holzweiler, serving non-alcoholic drinks at the launch of Vogue Scandinavia at Café Platz in Oslo. “We want to show that non-alcoholic cocktails can be both sexy and exciting,” smiles Anna. While kombucha is a product to be enjoyed fresh, the wine alternatives are shelf stable. They have been tested on the US market with great acceptance, including the fabulous review in the Wall Street Journal. The aim is to grow organically and become a leader in the nonalcoholic field: “We want to impress the world with invigorating drinks.” Web: www.empressbrew.no Instagram: @drinkempress

Moonbrew Spritz A refreshing spritz with Moonbrew’s stone fruit and floral notes with a touch of aromatic citrus. Ingredients: 30ml Everleaf Forest (non-alcohol spirit) 20ml grapefruit juice 2 dashes Angostura Bitters (optional) Top with Moonbrew Sparkling Tea How to: In a glass with ice, add grapefruit juice, bitters and Everleaf Forest. Top with Moonbrew, stir gently and garnish with fresh botanicals. Sip slowly and enjoy! This refreshing drink also goes well with gin and sweet vermouth.

November 2021  |  Issue 136  |  19