On Wednesday, October 28th we visited an unusual artisan Vlaardings company.
Since last year, there is great international attention, thanks to the travel program Booze Travel. They visited the Netherlands and filmed the Amsterdam red light district, bite into a raw herring and a brought a great visit to the Van Toor distillery, where Schelvispekel (Haddock Brine) was given a prominent role as Dutch Spirit or Holland!
Watch the video and find out!
Its history goes back to 1883 when Hendrik van Toor started a pub in a beautiful building on the Market Vlaardingen. Four generations of family Toor led the van Toor distillery with love. In 2000 Leo Fontijne heard that there was no follow-up more and he approach them, many conversations followed and even the family advised him not to quit his well-paid job at Unilever .... . but Leo stuck to his dream ... and gives that not all the passion and love you can bring in a drink?
Thanks to the major international attention the classic Schelvispekel has been rewarded with a new label. The handmade new version of the label does credit to the traditional way in which this drink of brandy and mixed spice is prepared.
Walk by Streetview to the Distillery!
H. van Toor Jzn. Distilleerderij B.V.
Schelvispekel is one of the oldest ship drinks in the Netherlands, with history dating back to the VOC period. Herring fishermen from Vlaardingen traded herring for spices with the VOC crew. With these spices the herring fishermen brewed their own drink. The spices were infused with brandy in the galley.
If their wives asked what it was, they were told it was brine (pekel). In the winter months the fisherman could not catch any herring. Herring fishermen then went fishing for haddock (schelvis). So this is how the pseudonym Schelvispekel arose (Haddock Brine).
Schelvispekel is prepared with brandy and spices. The gingerbread spices have been infused for two months in large stone extraction pots. The gingerbread spices give color, nose and taste to the alcohol. Then brandy, distilled from soured wine and sugar is being added to the extract. The color of the Schelvispekel originates from the spices, there are no added colorants. Schelvispekel is free of added fragrances or flavorings.
Pure nature, taste the difference! The brandy is distilled using our own solar energy.
GENVERS, BITTERS, LIQUEURS
The other products of Van Toor Distillery are still prepared in the traditional way, without artificial flavors and fragrances.
Van Toor now produces bitters as the Golden Oriole and Voorburg, liqueurs including drinks with the beautiful names Water and Fire and Sun and Moon, gins (Walloon Water) and specials.
VAN TOOR SCHELVISPEKEL
The most famous drink is in the meantime the Van Toor Schelvispekel. That is the only real historical fishing drink from the Netherlands. Schelvispekel is therefore still made according to the recipe from 1920 by Hendrik van Toor. In the following video clip, taken from the tourist film "Welcome to Vlaardingen 'Leo Fontijne explains further in detail how this drink and its name originated.
Since 2008, the distillery has become Purveyor of the King. A small distillery full of passion!
Curious to the Schelvispekel? Watch here the Tastingnotes by BestofDutchSpirits.com