Helena is a double fermented clear koji spirit. It pushes the boundaries of traditional spirits, and is the foundation upon which all of Empirical’s other spirits are built.
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What's in it
- Malted Barley
- Pilsner Malt
Helena & Green Tea
Discovered by local bartenders through experimentation, Helena & Green Tea has become the most popular way to serve the spirit. To make your own, pour one part Helena over a large ice cube and mix in 3 parts cold-brewed jasmine green tea. Garnish it with lemon verbena and add honey and lemon to taste.Back to shop
When you smell Helena, it will have a clean, bright aroma with floral notes coming from the koji nuttiness.
When you taste Helena, you’ll be met with a delicate sweet flavour at the base. The toasted bread notes from the barley will start to come through ending with a bright, crisp umami finish.
The Empirical Distillery is found in Refshaleøen, Copenhagen, next to a paintball arena not far from the harbour. They have a ton of equipment, a lot of which they designed and assembled themselves.
The Mother Spirit
Empirical makes their own spirit base rather than buying factory-made ethanol. They believe if you want to make something delicious in the end, you need to build flavour from the beginning. With carefully selected ingredients and their own proprietary equipment, they created their first spirit “Helena” which is named after Lar’s favourite Misfits song.
East meets West
Helena is a unique spirit, combining eastern ingredients with western fermentation techniques to produce a multifaceted flavour profile. It is made by combining pilsner malt and Belgian Saison yeast with 60% malted barley and 40% barley koji - the fungus used to produce miso and soy sauce. They use vacuum distillation to keep the mixture’s temperature low. This allows them to hold onto all the flavors from the botanicals, grains and yeast.
The Brains Behind It
After meeting as colleagues at the world famous restaurant NOMA, Mark Emil - an anthropology grad from Oxford and Lars - a long-time chef came together, united by their ideas around food and flavour. They created Empirical to push their ideas beyond the kitchen and make them accessible across the world. They combine an experimental approach with years of practical experience to create unique flavours that incorporate a wide variety of ingredients and techniques.More on the Brand