Because it’s one of the first crops humanity ever domesticated. Because it started in Africa thousands of years ago and it’s still going. Because it’s regenerative. It’s drought resistant. It’s sustainable. It’s versatile. Because we are supporting small farmers and craftspeople. Because it has endless possibilities. Because its juice tastes like green spring and melon. Because the syrup tastes like toasted honey and dark autumn. Because it’s the fifth most produced cereal crop globally, yet still underutilized. Because tradition is slowly fading away. Because we started experimenting and made something delicious. Because of sorghum, we made Soka.
SOKA combines the distillates of fermented fresh sorghum juice and syrup. The fresh juice lends springy, green flavors of melon, cucumber, and green apple with the syrup bringing forward darker aromas of harvest with notes of hay and toasted honey. The use of third fermentation inspired by the production of Jamaican rum contributes a touch of fermented grass and brininess, binding everything together.
Sorghum, a truly ancient grain, the fifth most produced cereal crop worldwide. It's regenerative and drought resistant properties make it a versatile and sustainable crop to grow, able to adapt to many climates. The juice and syrup from Sorghum stalks are the backbone of SOKA, the latest addition to our product range. Find out more about Sorghum, our suppliers and the process of how we turn this forgotten crop into Soka.
Sorghum was first introduced to the US in the mid-19th century, but today the crop is grown by only a handful of farms. For SOKA, we wanted a blend of terroirs. So we sourced sorghum syrup from Kentucky where the climate is hot and dry and the juice from Wisconsin in the Midwest where the climate is more continental with snowy winters and warm summers.
COPENHAGEN VIA KENTUCKY AND WISCONSIN
Lars & Chris visiting the Sorghum producers in Wisconsin in 2021.
SOKA’s journey starts in Kentucky, where the crop is harvested in autumn when it’s mature, and later heated over natural gas steam to create a deep brown syrup. The syrup is then transported to Wisconsin, where the sorghum stalks are juiced as they’re harvested in a Mad Max like vehicle. The bright green juice is immediately filtered, preserving the fresh and sorrel-like flavor. The sorghum juice is then quickly fermented using methods we had experimented with in the past when working with molasses and vacuumed distilled. Once distilled, we blend the syrup and fermented juice cuts to make SOKA.
Stir it, shake it, serve it neat
There are plenty of ways to enjoy SOKA, and we’re coming up with more recipes by the day. Sometimes, as we’ve discovered, the best way to enjoy its myriad of flavors is to keep things real simple.
Check out the So Iconic recipe below for our take on a G&T. Minus the G. Plus everything else.
Empirical is a flavor company.
Taking a flavor-first approach means we find great ingredients and turn them into delicious experiences.
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