The world’s most amazing sugar, honey, has never really been viewed as a viable input for producing spirits. Due to its cost, scarcity, and non-perishable nature, it’s been overlooked. While other popular spirits fall into categories determined by the base sugar used, (ie brandy, whisky, rum, etc.) there has not been a common name for spirits distilled from honey.
The Ninth Spirit
Somel is a new category creation, developed through a collaborated effort among several key honey producers, spirits industry professionals, and bee enthusiasts, recognizing the need for a universal term for a spirit distilled from honey. The term somel derives from latin roots, meaning “only honey”, and bridges the language barriers that have held this spirit at bay for so many years.
The Legacy of Distilled Honey
Distilled honey has had many names over time, yet it has never been a major player in the alcohol industry. Some of the names that have been used are: aguardente de mel (Brazil), spirito di meile (Italy), brandy mel, honey jack, and honey spirit, among others. With the alcohol industry having predetermined guidelines on what language is permitted on spirits labels, we are inclined to introduce this class suggestion to ensure that honey distillate may rise in popularity and maintain the integrity of its pure form, while carving a place for itself in the spirits market.
In the past, with no consistent name to refer to these spirits, confusion has been prevalent, and often, misconstrued ideas as to what a “honey spirit” is or is not, have dominated. This is a shame, because the true value of a pure honey distillate should be recognized over, for example, a more common spirit with mere additions of honey.
Natural & Sustainable
The concept of somel is inspired by the bees themselves. These amazing creatures produce an even more amazing liquid gold: honey. Honey is precious, and the bees that make honey are in decline due to many known and unknown causes. By elevating spirits distilled from honey to their own category, awareness will rise, and hopefully, so will the sustainability of bee colonies.
Somel is a spirit using only 100% Honey as the primary Fermentable substrate or 51% Honey and no more than 49% fruit, spices or herbs in any combination