Around the world in Vodka!
Are you someone who is often teased (but also secretly envied) for your love for the satan’s drink? Booking.com curates a list of five distillers around the world to bring out the Vodka lover in you. Mix it into a cocktail or serve it neat, this versatile spirit is both rich in history and flavour.
Sheep Whey Vodka, Australia
Each bottle is signed by master distiller, Ryan Hartshorn
Australia and sheep; two things not often associated with award-winning vodka – until now. Hidden away in the small state of Tasmania, Hartshorn Distillery is an innovative micro distillery concocting small batches of vodka made from sheep whey. Run by a one-time cheesemaker now turned distiller, Ryan Hartshorn, the distillery is the first in the world to crack the process of turning complex whey protein sugars into a uniquely creamy, velvet-bodied vodka. It’s even won an award for the World’s Best Vodka in 2018.
Visit the distillery in Tasmania, which shares its location with the farmhouse cheesery. Sample the finest cheeses and enjoy a shot of vodka, best enjoyed at room temperature and paired with a green olive. Make sure to bring a few goodies back to Woodbridge Hill Hideaway to enjoy, while taking a bubble bath overlooking the Australian bush.
Reyka vodka, Iceland
Reyka vodka sources its water from pure Icelandic arctic springs
Reyka vodka is the first eco-friendly vodka in the world, as it powers its distillery on the geothermal energy of ancient underground volcanoes. Made from wheat and barley, the secret to its clean, crisp taste is the water, sourced from pure, Icelandic arctic springs, that notably, run through a 4,000-year-old lava field. This water is naturally filtered with no trace of impurities – it’s so pure, the vodka only needs a single distillation.
With each sip, you can tell the master distiller – who is also the local fisherman and policeman – cares about quality. If you’d like to go straight to the source, stay at Icelandair Hotel Hamar in the small coastal village of Borgarnes.
CÎROC vodka, France
The final distillation happens at the historic Distillerie de Chevanceaux
CÎROC Vodka is the first international vodka made using southern France's most premium variety of grapes. The brains behind this innovation is distiller Jean-Sebastien Robicquet, who hails from a family of winemakers and distillers that have been in business since the 15th century.
Its fresh, smooth and fruity undertones are courtesy of its distilling process. It first undergoes cold maceration and fermentation, which creates the wine distillate. The wine is distilled four times, which produces the grape spirit. The final distillation then happens at the historic Distillerie de Chevanceaux. To be in the thick of it all, stay in the southern wine region at Hôtel Les Pins.
Vinn vodka, USA
Vinn Vodka is the first rice vodka produced and bottled in the USA
An offshoot of China’s most traditional and national drink, Baijiu – pronounced “bye-joe” – is Vinn Vodka, the first rice vodka to be produced and bottled in the USA. This family-owned distillery has been making spirits with a secret recipe for well over seven-generations. Each bottle is a testament to craft, tradition and dedication – serve it neat or on the rocks to enhance its smooth, creamy and sweet finish.
Żubrówka is made from bison grass found in the Bialowieza Forest
With almost 500 years of tradition, this Polish vodka is legendary. Traditionally, Polish vodka is distilled from potatoes but Żubrówka subverts tradition; made from rye and bison grass, it’s these ingredients which give the vodka a unique bittersweet taste. Each blade of grass is handpicked from the ancient Bialowieza Forest, which are then naturally dried and placed into a bottle of vodka – a tradition passed down from generation to generation.
Serve it neat or with cloudy apple juice, which enhances and harmonises the herbal notes. To see how the locals do it, stay at Stoczek 1929