Meet the Ambassador Series – Part 2
Last time round Alex talked about his experience in the trade. Now we talk to Alex all things Vodka!
What makes Arbikie Vodka different?
Today, the majority of vodka is made from grain, however Arbikie Vodka is made from three types of potatoes, which are all grown on the estate. By using potatoes this gives Arbikie Vodka an incredibly smooth and creamy finish providing a depth of character not usually associated with vodka. Our farm to bottle approach means we grow, distil, mature and bottle on one location placing provenance and traceability of ingredients at the heart of the product.
Why do most brands use a grain-based vodka instead of potatoes?
It is very difficult and costly to produce good vodka from potatoes, if you don’t distil properly its basically moonshine.
What’s it like representing a Scottish Vodka brand?
It’s incredibly exciting to be representing Scotland’s first potato vodka. Using Scotland’s expertise and reputation in Whisky production and applying this to a new category is great. Arbikie Vodka is a unique product, which fundamentally changes consumer perceptions of the category and its great to be a part of this.
Vodka is often maligned by bar tenders, what do you think about this?
Vodka has often been used in cocktails and hidden with purees and cheap flavour substitutes to hide the ‘vodka taste’. Times are changing and there are some great vodka brands out there. I find that when bartenders use Arbikie Vodka they love how they can rely on the quality of the spirit and they don’t have to add substitutes to hide the ‘vodka taste’.
What is the best way to change people’s perceptions of Vodka?
Drinking Arbikie Vodka neat over ice provides a whole new dimension to drinking vodka. It is comparable to enjoying a glass of Scotch. My aim is to grow consumer awareness so the request of ‘Arbikie on the rocks’ becomes synonymous with our vodka and a unique drinking experience.
What is your favourite Arbikie Vodka Cocktail?
The Angus Breakfast; which consists of three simple ingredients: Arbikie Vodka, Orange Marmalade and Lemon Juice. Very simple yet an incredible drink!
What kind of impact does potato vodka have on the taste of a cocktail?
Potato vodka has that earthiness which works wonders in a martini and its velvety smooth texture gives it a new dimension.
Arbikie recently launched it’s Chilli Vodka, what makes this product standout compared to other flavoured vodkas?
Flavoured vodkas are known for being overloaded with sugar and artificial flavouring.
Arbikie chilli vodka is far from this and is something very special, it has its own unique flavour and in typical Arbikie fashion we are using 100% fresh chipotle chillies.
The result is a creamy, smoky and smooth flavoured vodka which has amazing character to it . The natural smoke from the Chipotle chillies brings back warming memories of tasting whisky on Islay and this flavour can bring a new dimension to any cocktail.
As well as all the mixologists, this is the Bloody Mary lovers dream , Smoky Bloody Marys anyone? yes please!
If you were to pick a band that best represents Arbikie Vodka, what would it be?
Red Hot Chilli Pipers- Scottish, bagpipes, Chilli Vodka, you get the point.
How would you recommend trying Arbikie Vodka for the first time?
Drink straight over ice with some cracked black peppercorns.
Where do you see the vodka category going in the future?
The number of quality craft vodkas on the market is increasing and consumer awareness of an alternative offering is also growing. It is only a matter of time before craft vodkas disrupt the dominance of the big commercial brands. We’ve already seen this in the gin category and vodka will eventually follow suit