Students across the UK will be thrilled to hear that a British vodka from Suffolk was recently voted the best in the world, beating off countries like Poland and Russia, who are famed for their vod
Students across the UK will be thrilled to hear that a British vodka from Suffolk was recently voted the best in the world, beating off countries like Poland and Russia, who are famed for their vodkas.
But, it’s not the first time a British vodka has won big – back in 2010 Chase Vodka made in the UK won the gold at a tasting competition in San Francisco. So, why is British vodka so good, and why do so few of us know about it?
Students might not be so pleased to know that both award-winning vodkas go for around £35 a bottle. But then again, quality ingredients and a fine brewing process has to equal a better tasting product. Adnams in Southwold brews its vodka in small batches from a wash of grain and water (the same base as gin) making it easier to drink on its own and no longer just a mixer.
The brewery makes three different kinds of vodkas, including the winning Longshore style, which is made from three different grains. The process behind this vodka means it can be drunk neat or over ice, and has a pleasant, slightly sweeter flavour than cheap, mainstream vodka which, well, basically just burns.
Chase Vodka, which won its award in 2010, is made from potatoes, the original ingredient in top quality vodka. Most mass produced vodka is now made from wheat or other cheap alternatives, as it takes a huge quantity of potatoes to produce just one litre of vodka.
Making the spirit the way it was originally intended is more expensive and results in smaller batches, but both Longshore and Chase show that you just can’t compensate on the taste.
While Adnams has attributed some of its award-winning flavour to the grain grown in East Anglia, there’s no direct correlation between British produce and high quality vodka. Instead, it’s just about farming with care and distilling the product in the right way, instead of substituting for cheaper ingredients and mass producing.
Small but mighty
Both Longshore and Chase vodka, brewed in the UK, are small companies that still largely brew beer. However, with the title of best vodka in the world comes undeniable interest, and a bigger market in the USA, where it’s more popular to drink neat spirits than in the UK. Adnams is now producing around 15,000 bottles a year and will continue to grow.
Exports to worldwide countries have doubled, and they have an indisputable title to show off too. Both companies attribute some of their success to some unusual CEO’s – an engineer and ex-potato farmer respectively – but both have managed to turn around the business in a unique and very British way.
So, if you’re splashing out this term, why not try a home-grown vodka? Guaranteed it’ll be a lot more enjoyable than a bottle of supermarket own brand spirit, and it’s a hell of a lot better for you too.
Go on, be sophisticated for an evening, support home grown goods, and drink up!
What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.