Vodka is vodka, or so non-aficionados might think. But if you were to browse around a Polish or Russian supermarket you would discover that it comes in many varieties.
Here in Britain, we can savour some of the more glamorous varietals of vodka. Some are flavoured with fruit; others are drunk by the stars in London’s famous celebrity hangouts.
Here are some of the trendiest bottles around.
U’Luvka Vodka: Originating from Poland, U’Luvka Vodka saw its UK launch in 2005 and has since picked up seven major awards including four gold medals for excellence. It is a re-creation of a legendary vodka produced for the 17th century Polish royal court.
The elegant and contemporary-styled bottle with a wiggle at its slender neck has made its way into many of London’s famous celebrity hangouts including Maze, Nobu, Soho House and Teatro. Stockists in the UK include Berry Brothers & Rudd, Harrods and Selfridges. It is available in three sizes: Miniature (10cl) £12.00, Signature (70cl) £42.75 and Magnum (175cl) £99.00.
Snow Queen Vodka: Like Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Borat, this vodka was born and bred in Kazakhstan. It can be said that what Scotland is to whisky, Kazakhstan is to vodka.
So far, Snow Queen has been awarded nine gold medals for excellence along with 15 other awards. It is made using pure spring water, wheat and honey and is 100 per cent organic.
This brand has also found its way into London celebrity hangouts including Tramp, Mo’vida, Annabels, Aura, Zuma, E&O, Sumosan and Momo’s. It is now also available in top venues in Paris and across the Cote d’Azur as well launching in the US this summer.
Snow Queen is available at all branches of Selfridges and Harrods or can be ordered online (www.snowqueenvodka.com). It is available in three sizes: 5cl for £3.50, 70ml for £26.49 and a magnum for £69.00.
Pinky Vodka: Originating from Sweden, Pinky Vodka is the world’s first and only vodka rose and looks more like a bottle of classy perfume than a drink. Pinky has been created for sipping straight up over ice or with a twist of orange. Naturally flavoured, it has top notes of rose, violet and strawberry and enhances whatever it is mixed with.
Celebrity followers include Beyonce, Scarlett Johansson, Jamie Foxx and Paris Hilton. Pinky was winner of a silver medal in the Wine & Spirit Design Award 2006 and is available in Harvey Nichols food court and www.thedrinkshop.com costing from £24.99 for 70cl.
Belvedere Vodka: This Polish vodka was first introduced into the UK in 2002. It is available pure and in two flavoured varieties: Pomarancza, distilled using Spanish mandarins and Moroccan orange blossoms with a touch of lime, and Cytrus, made using lemons from Murcia in Spain.
In its purest form, Belvedere’s taste is subtle sweetness and smooth with a clean finish thanks to golden rye as the single-grain ingredient.
It is available from Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Vintage House and selected Waitrose stores nationwide, with prices starting from £25.99. The limited edition Belvedere Ice Tower is also available from Harrods.
Ketel One: This super premium vodka comes from one of the oldest distilleries in Holland. Ketel is hand crafted in small batches using traditional copper pot-stills. It is a clear, medium-bodied vodka with hints of charcoal, minerals and liquorice. Smokey accents blend well with light floral notes.
Ketel One Citroen was introduced in 2000 and is the only Ketel One flavoured vodka available.
Ketel One is available from selected Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols for around £17.99 for 70cl.