Flavoured VodkaFlavoured Vodkas have been produced for centuries. Initially, extra ingredients were added to mask the harsh taste of rough cuts in early distillates. Nowadays flavouring vodka is a mark of the distiller's skill. The best examples offer a pure, non-confected representation of the key note flavour - not so easily achieved, as many fall into the 'too sweet' trap. Flavoured vodkas are now in vogue with several celebrity affiliated brands leaving a mark on popular culture. Their convenience and versatility as mixers means there's a steady demand, and the flavour range currently available is better than ever. Click here to learn more about Vodka.
- New South Wales, AUSTRALIA$74.99 Bottle
Produced using sustainably foraged Australian native marine botanicals including Sea Parsley and Beach-Cast Kelp. Recommended in a Dirty Martini. Tasting note: Clear. Whiffs of seashore before the grain kicks in; then creamy, delicately fresh aromas hinting at meringue and mineral. A semi sweet and gently peppery style that shows good vibrancy. Crisp and citrusy to finish. 41.6% Alc./Vol.
- ABV 41.6%
- New South Wales, AUSTRALIA$74.99 Bottle
Tasting note: Generous botanical input from fresh green cardamom, otherwise citrus forward. Evokes lemon drizzled calamari or fish and chips by the sea. Clean and fresh in the mouth with a pleasantly citrusy profile and some of the maritime notes repeating in the fade. Intriguing. Recommended in an Espresso Martini or mixed with Ginger ale. 41.6% Alc./Vol.
- ABV 41.6%
The only place in the world where the bison grass grows in the wild, in small clumps scattered all over the glades and meadows, is the Biaolowieka Forest, acknowledged to be the last primeval forest left in Europe and where there are thousands of European bison living free. The wild-growing grass must be harvested in good weather and at the proper time – early in the summer, when the grass has reached the proper height and colour but is still young and not yellowed. At that moment it is most aromatic. The grass is harvested by hand. Then it is allowed to dry naturally in the breeze and sunshine and is bound in bunches, cut to the required length and delivered to the distilleries. In the distillery the grass is spread on screens and vodka is made to flow through the grass several times to make an aromatic essence. During the next stage this bison grass extract is mixed with pure vodka until the right colour, aroma and taste are obtained, following the traditional recipe. The ready vodka is left for several days to stabilise and harmonise. Experienced technicians and tasters monitor every step of the process. Finally the vodka is filtered and the final product is bottled, with a blade of bison grass in every bottle for decoration.
- ABV 40%
Two species of creatures have a special liking for bison grass: bison and… hunters. The first look for it in the meadows of the Bialowieska Forest, where it is very abundant. The second look for it rather in the liquid form introduced long ago by the Baczewski Distillery. They say that it is a royal drink, worthy of a royal beast… For the bison – we are speaking here of the European bison – is indeed a regal creature, weighing a ton, three and a half metres long and two metres high at the shoulder. Its noble mane and long beard give it a majestic appearance. Once it was the object of monarchical protection.
A decree of King Zygmunt the Old imposed the death penalty on anyone who killed a bison without the king’s permission. It was believed that the bison’s horns, so dangerous to hunters, had the magical power to neutralise all kinds of poisons. Drinking cups were fashioned from them, often ornamented with silver and precious stones and used during hunters’ banquets. By the early twentieth century, excessive hunting, poaching, and the havoc of World War I had almost killed off the European bison. In 1919 the last one left in Poland’s Bialowieska Forest fell and in 1925 the last one in the Caucasus was killed. They were the last two left in the world. Fortunately some remained in zoos and private refuges. In the 1920’s, at the initiative of the Polish zoologist Kan Sztolcman, the International Society for Preservation of the European Bison was established. Today there are thousands of these animals living free in protected wilderness areas, thanks to decades of devoted work by conservationists.
Wisent is best slightly chilled. It can be served straight up in shot glasses or mixed. Try it with apple juice. 40% alc./vol.
- Ahus, SWEDEN$46.99 Bottle
- ABV 40%
Some fun for the bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts, Absolut Wild Tea combines Oolong tea and Scandinavian white elderflower with traditional Absolut Vodka.
Cocktail Recipe: Absolut Wild Gimlet2 parts Absolut Wild Tea
0.75 part fresh Lime Juice
0.5 part Simple Syrup
Build over ice in a rocks glass and stir. Garnish with a wheel of lime.
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- $51.99 Bottle
- ABV 40%
Very pale salmon pink colour with a watery hue. Curious bouquet offers scents of sweet oregano, thyme, basil and juniper berry. Silky entry is sweet and herbal with vanilla, becoming sweeter still at mid palate before drying with notes of aniseed, mixed herbs and gentle spices at the finish. Mildly bitter, juniper aftertaste, but overall, not especially juniper heavy. 40 Alc./Vol.
- $89.99 Bottle
- ABV 40%
A vodka infused with violets, rose petals and ten botanicals.
Tasting note: Clear with the faintest pink blush. A curious aroma that’s reminiscent of lemonade gelato but is otherwise one dimensional. Soft silky mouthfeel. The flavours are rather flat and repeat the aromas - semi sweet lemonade, but with a gently warming spirit that adds depth and a touch of spice. Monotonous, with the saving grace of not finishing sickly sweet. 40% Alc./Vol.
- $79.99 Bottle
- ABV 40%
The pioneering Square One Organic Spirits Co. is a female-owned venture with the sole mission of creating innovative, eco conscious organic spirits. Made from 100% organic American-grown rye and pristine water from the Teton Mountains, this latest addition aims to capture the luscious sweet and savory qualities of garden-fresh basil. It's infused with four basil varieties -- Genovese, Thai, Lemon and Sweet, before a touch of organic coriander, honeysuckle and lemongrass are added to balance the spirit's robust herbal nature.
"When creating a new spirit, we think about the taste complexities that the spirit can bring to the cocktail. We want it to enhance and elevate the cocktail experience," explains Allison Evanow, Square One Organic Spirits Founder and CEO, "The sweet and savory magic that fresh basil brings to cuisine applies equally as well to cocktails. Our master distiller and I found that by layering select basil varieties we got the best expression of basil."
Tasting note: Crystal clear. Aromas are an intriguing interplay between dried herbs and citrus including dill, white pepper, sweet basil, orange peel and grapefruit. Entry is soft with a gentle pepperiness developing; the palate is medium dry and more keenly defined by dried basil, followed by hints of thyme, fennel, lemongrass and citrus peel before finishing wonderfully crisp and clean with good persistence. Terrific complexity by flavoured vodka standards, this is interesting enough to enjoy on its own, or take your Bloody Mary's to the next level. 40% Alc./Vol.
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- Rigby, Idaho, UNITED STATES$89.99 Bottle
- ABV 45%
An unusual product from Square One distillery, 'Botanical' is neither a Vodka or Gin - Yet strong parallels can be drawn to both. Square One's Organic Vodka forms the base for Botanical, before the infusion of pear, rose, chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, rosemary, coriander and citrus peel. The results are again outstanding, bearing full, complex flavours seamlessly integrated into Square One's impeccably balanced and textured spirit. Thanks to the "get it right the first time" distilling methods, and quality North Dakota Rye, Square One is an outstanding Gin inspired drink. Try on ice, or in a Martini.
- California, UNITED STATES$79.99 Bottle
Tasting note: Produced from a wheat spirit base infused with nine botanicals. Clear. Aromas of crushed mint over background coriander and dill. Light bodied with brisk herbal flavours building pepper heat through to a fresh, drying, mint accented finish. Will be a novel base for savoury cocktails. 35% Alc./Vol. Certified organic.
- ABV 35%
- $42.99 Bottle
- ABV 38%
Bright straw / gold colour. Smells of sweet dried herbs, dried grass with a delicate anise lift adding freshness.The palate offers semi sweet flavours of mixed herb, dried grass, building intensity towards the drying, spicy finish. Soft, silky texture. Good concentration. Moderate aftertaste with gentle spices persisting. A slightly sweeter and softer alternative to the popular ‘Zubrowka’. 38% Alc./Vol.