The Aromas of Artisanal Vodka Distillation

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Vodka has a secret life. Beyond its clear, unassuming facade, there's an aromatic quality waiting to be used to its full potential, especially in the realm of artisanal distillation. Having been around quite a few distilleries, let us take you on a stroll through this often-misunderstood spirit's more fragrant side.
At the Heart of Aroma
Artisanal vodka starts its life with the choice of base ingredients and each brings its own unique aroma. Potatoes, for instance, lend a grounding earthiness reminiscent of a farmer's field. Grains like wheat or rye, on the other hand, offer a bouquet ranging from freshly baked bread to a spicy sauce. Some artisanal vodkas are crafted from grapes, yielding floral and fruity notes, while others might use corn, which brings a subtle sweetness perfect for summer.

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Cocktail Hour
The real magic happens when these aromatic vodkas meet their cocktail counterparts. The subtle nuttiness of a potato-based vodka pairs beautifully with the crispness of apple cider, creating a cocktail that’s grounding and refreshing. A rye vodka’s spiciness can be complemented by the sweetness of ginger beer, adding a warm twist to a Moscow Mule.
For vodkas with floral and fruity notes, the pairing options are vast. A grape-based vodka is a natural partner for lighter mixers like tonics or sparkling wines, making for an elegant spritzer. Corn-based vodkas blend well with citrus juices, adding zest to a classic vodka lemonade.
The Process of Fermentation
Fermentation is where things get interesting. In these small-batch distilleries, where the craft is king, the choice of yeast and the subtleties of the process mark a phase where the magic of biology meets the art of chemistry. This ultimately creates the foundational aromas that define each vodka's character.
Distillation: Where Purity and Scent Combine
Distillation, the process where liquid turns to vapour and then back to liquid, is where vodka really finds its footing. Artisanal distillers guide this transformation. The copper in the stills doesn’t just strip away impurities; it’s also a catalyst for aroma, teasing out delicate scents that you might not catch at first but will slowly reveal themselves.

Water: The Silent Flavour Composer
Water and vodka are a classic combination. But we're not talking tap water here. Imagine crystal-clear springs or ancient, untouched Artesian wells. This water here plays the role of an enhancer, bringing a smoothness, a subtlety, and sometimes a mineral note that can elevate the vodka from good to incredible.

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Tasting Artisanal Vodka: A Scented Journey
Tasting artisanal vodka can be a complex experience; there's something new to discover in every note. A sip starts with a hint of aroma, builds up to a flavorful peak, and finishes with a lingering, often surprising afternote. It’s definitely a journey that challenges what you thought you knew about vodka.
The Expanding Universe of Vodka Aromas
Experimentation with non-traditional ingredients, ageing processes, and blending techniques is expanding the universe of vodka scents and flavours. It's an exciting time to be a vodka lover or even a curious bystander.

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