India is a growing country. Not one where you’d expect spirits to originate from, or be the fore runner in sales. But hold on though, India is one of the biggest consumers of whisky, and at the end of calendar 2012, McDowell’s No. 1 from Vijay Mallya’s United Spirits Ltd overtook Johnnie Walker to become the world’s largestselling whisky by volume, clocking sales of 19.5 million. Surprised? Working in the trade for a while now has thrown up the odd curve-ball, with names 5 years ago dropping out of the top selling spirits like flies, and countries like India taking full advantage. But it’s not just whisky that India has dabbled into lately, they’ve also made there presence felt within the vodka category, releasing Magic Moments to the UK.
Magic Moments originates from the second largest distillery in Asia, Radico, itself only established back in 1943. With its 4 distilleries and a whopping 33 bottling plants, it can say that it has had such illustrious customers such as Pernod Ricard, Diageo and Bacardi. It of course produces its own brands too, with names such as Whytehall and 8pm for the whisky market, Contessa and Bermuda for the rum category, Morpheus and Old Admiral brandy and of course Magic Moments vodka. This article though will concentrate on their new vodka experience.
Named alongside the tag line of ‘It’s Magic When Purity Blends With Smoothness’, Magic Moments is a triple distilled, rice grain gluten free vodka and launched back in 2006. Since then, it has won itself 36 international awards, not only for its standard variant, but also its six flavours. Magic Moments prides itself on being a versatile product, so below, i give to you my tasting notes alongside some recipe inspiration –
Magic Moments – 42.8%
Light to begin with on the nose, but develops a hard finish. A growing warmth on the palate, resulting in a slight spice hit on the back of the throat and a bold, long finish.
Magic Moments Lemon Grass and Ginger – 37.5%
Fresh on the nose with lots of citrus followed by subtle ginger. Soft on the palate, with the ginger dominating. A hit of freshness comes through before drying on the finish. Mixes well with lemonade, sparkling water or cola, a substitute for rum within a mojito, or within cure salmon with lemon grass.
Magic Moments Raspberry – 37.5%
Subtle nose of wild raspberry, leading to a sharp flavour on the palate. Bold raspberries with a slightly spiced finish.
Magic Moments Chocolate – 37.5%
Rich chocolate on the nose, with a bold cocoa aroma. The richness follows onto the palate, resulting in a lingering finish that has dominate toasted chocolate flavours. Mixes well with coffee and drizzled on top of ice cream.
Magic Moments Lemon – 37.5%
Very light on the nose with fresh lemons dominating the end. Soft on the palate, with the lemon more subtle. Short. Mixes well with cola.
Magic Moments Orange – 37.5%
Subtle on the nose, with dry orange aromas coming through. A developing flavour on the palate, with the orange rind with a slight burnt texture present. Very long and dry.
Like most vodkas, Magic Moments can be sipped straight or over ice, but if you ever come across the name in your local bar, try one of these –
60 ml Magic Moments Lemon Grass and Ginger
20 ml Sugar Syrup
15 ml Lime juice
3 pieces Fresh lemon grass
Muddle lemon grass within a highball glass and add Magic Moments, sugar and lime juice. Add crushed ice and top with ginger ale. Garnish with lemon grass and mint sprig.
In only seven years, Magic Moments is already established within 24 countries around the world, and the UK is embracing the versatility of the flavours. The Lemon Grass and Ginger as well as the Chocolate are my personal highlights, and two flavours you don’t usually associate with the vodka world.
India – pushing the boundaries. No wonder it’s a fast growing country in the drinks world.
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