Australian distillers are becoming increasingly experimental when it comes to crafting vodkas. It’s exciting news for the category, left behind following the seemingly endless growth and appetite for gin.
Last year Moët-Hennessy launched Belvedere Heritage 176, the “Mixed Spirit Drink” that throws back to the Polish style of malting grains before creating the vodka. Using Polska rye as the main ingredient, the distillery describes it as a “sumptuous, full-bodied vodka with distinctive flavours of raw honey allspice and walnuts”.
Also in 2021, Top Shelf International launched Grainshaker Vodka in three different expressions, one for each grain: corn, rye and wheat, and each with their distinctive flavour.
Daniel Motlop’s Seven Seasons has created the world’s first vodka made with native yams – and won double gold 2021 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition (NYWSC) for his efforts.
And this week, Archie Rose Distilling will release what they think may be the ultimate in vodka flavour and will support reinvigoration of the category: the Archie Rose Native Botanical Vodka.
“Vodka is often looked over as being bland. We see vodka as being capable of charm and personality. The Native Botanical Vodka is sophisticated and refined but not shy on charisma,” said Master Distiller, Dave Withers.
“We have a very clear goal for this vodka – we wanted to make a spirit that would make the ultimate vodka soda.”
He says that Archie Rose’s new vodka is brimming with vibrant, fresh and nuanced flavours, that it is “inspired by native botanicals and has a truly authentic personality”.
The botanicals of native lemon scented gum, native sunrise lime, Australian peach, and handpicked and dried Roman chamomile all feature in the latest release from Archie Rose and a sip reveals grapefruit, honey and ripe stone fruit with a burst of fresh floral elderflower on the finish.
“Highlighting the incredible native and local ingredients we’re lucky enough to have access to in Australia is at the core of what we do, so fully committing to flavour within the vodka category and producing a truly Australian Native Botanical Vodka was a project we’d been excited about for a long time,” says Archie Rose founder, Will Edwards.
“Our goal for this product was to take vodka to a point where it has just as much right to be on the table or behind the bar as gin. It’s no less interesting and it’s no less complex – it has no less reason to be in drinks because it’s genuinely making the drink better, it’s not just providing the booze. Native Botanical Vodka is the vodka for people who value flavour, complexity and quality. It will effectively take a vodka soda and turn it into a cocktail.”
The Native Botanical Vodka is a triumph not just of flavour but also innovation. Archie Rose commissioned a custom designed copper pot/column hybrid vacuum stills, which allows the unique cold distillation of botanical distillates by utilising the reduced boiling points achieved when a vacuum is drawn within the still, and completely eliminating the damaging impact of heat on delicate botanicals.
The 500 litre and 3,000 litre copper pot/column hybrid vacuum stills are capable of more than twelve different configurations which ensures that the absolute best flavour is extracted from every individually distilled botanical.
The Native Botanical Vodka, is available from Wednesday 29 September via www.archierose.com.au, the Archie Rose Cellar Door and bars and bottle shops around Australia.