"Fill in your date of birth to gain access to the website." This is not a request you will get while looking up tasty strawberries and raspberries on the internet. You will get that question however, if those strawberries and raspberries are used in an alcoholic beverage. That is what the Genson Group did. This fall, Genson Lost Fruits presented the brand name ODAVI. Under this name, liqueur, gin and low-gin are sold now. Drinks from 'pearls with an imperfection', as the drinks' story tells.
A few years ago, the well-known soft fruit growers and nurseries started looking for a sustainable way to process part of their strawberries and raspberries. The largest part of the product from the most important supplier of Albert Heijn goes to the store as class 1. Some nature products however don't completely match the demands for class 1. "Because they're just too small, too big or oddly shaped," explains Marie-Louise Raats with Genson Group. "Although they're obviously still full of flavour. That's how you get delicious drinks with gorgeously fruity flavours."
This fruity flavour is the result of years of development and tasting, tasting and tasting again. The growers collaborated with an artisanal distillateur for this. They found a way to make the class 2 fruit, that isn't wasted now, together with nature products, into an alcoholic drink to drink pure, on the rocks or to mix into cocktails. Three versions, all bottles with a gold print, are for sale at various liquor stores and farm shops. If you're interested, contact Marie-Louise Raats. ODAVI is available all year round.
Blind daughter of the king
And what about that story? Well this is it: "ODAVI is loosely based on a well-known legend from Sint-Oedenrode (Noord-Brabant, the Netherlands)," says Marie-Louise. That legend is about Oda, a Scottish, blind, daughter of a king, who after a lot of wandering ended up in Sint-Oedenrode. Oda was sent away by her father to Liège (BE) to pray at the grave of Saint Lambertus. There a miracle happened, as she regained her sight.
Back in Scotland, Oda wanted to place her life into the service of God, but her father had different plans and wanted to marry her off. Fleeing with a magpie by her side, she ended up in Rode, where she died in 726. People came to pray by her grave, upon which a canonisation happened.
Rode got it's name Sint-Oda-Rode, later known as Sint-Oedenrode. "As a company from Brabant with our headquarters here we thought this was a nice story. It's also a wink to the French eau de vie, a French collective term for all sorts of spirits."
This Christmas, surely some bottles will have opened here and there. "The tastiest fruit and the natural ingredients in the liqueur and gins are a party for the taste buds," promises Marie-Louise. And what is next? Maybe whiskey with a fruity twist? The king's daughter was Scottish! "Who knows," laughs Marie-Louise. "We'll keep on developing! Our selection will be expanded with a sparkling fruit wine. A whiskey is also possible, you'd get a whiskey-liqueur."
This article was printed before in edition 12, volume 34 of Primeur. See www.agfprimeur.nl for this.