The Next Bartender Robot . . . . .

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REYKA vodka Global Brand Ambassador Joe Petch has unveiled his latest bartender robot; a charmingly unconventional and resourceful invention – the Reyka Chainsaw Shaker.

The Shaker, which Joe plans to use over the summer, was created using 3hp petrol Husqvarna chainsaw, some scaffolding and other scrap parts. Joe said; “After shaking who knows how many cocktails in more bars and events than I can even remember, I decided I wanted to build a cocktail shaking machine. My challenge was: Build a powered cocktail shaker that, like Reyka, is resourceful and requires minimal exertion from the bartender.”

“After lots of integral research & testing we have worked out that we can perfectly shake 10 x Reyka Ramos Fizz cocktails in around 25 seconds after prepping them. Joe has also created a series of inventions including the Reyka Martini Dispenser and Hot Toddy Machine.

Reyka, Iceland’s first vodka is born of volcanoes and glaciers and handcrafted in preciously small batches by inventive people with creative minds.  Born from a country separated from the world and surrounded by magnificent natural resources it is filtered through lava rock and born of towering waterfalls of arctic spring water and some of the cleanest air in the world. It boasts a smooth-taste, silky finish and distinctive flavour, which makes it a perfectly versatile spirit for cocktails.

Reyka Designs Innovative Martini Machine To Guarantee The Perfect Serve

Reyka Martini Dispenser

The UK Ambassador for Reyka, the premium Icelandic vodka, has invented a Martini Dispenser that delivers perfect, ice cold Reyka cocktails every time.

Fuelled with a mix of Reyka vodka, vermouth and limited edition Reyka bitters; at the push of a button the Martini Dispenser pumps the cocktail through flash coolers that chill the liquid down to -18 degrees Celsius before neatly dispensing it from a brass tap into your martini glass. All that’s needed to perfect the cocktail is a final red grapefruit zest garnish.

Joe Petch, UK Brand Ambassador for Reyka, commented: “With several events on the horizon, I’ve been looking for a way for guests to serve their own perfectly cold Reyka Martinis. The machine we came up with reflects the inventive culture of Iceland, where people do things a little bit differently but also in a resourceful way – reinventing unwanted or unused objects to fulfil another purpose.”

“The continued growth in cocktails has meant that consumers are hungry for new and interesting brands, unique serves and creative bartending. More than two thirds of consumers are willing to pay more for a unique serve in the on-trade*, so being able to create the ‘perfect serve’ has never been so important.”

The Rekya Martini Dispenser was unveiled at Fortnum and Mason on Tuesday 9th December and will appear at various UK bars throughout 2015.

Kick Start Summer With Reyka Vodka Summer Solstice Cocktails

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The summer solstice is a national holiday in Iceland. In ‘the land of the midnight sun’, locals make the most of the 24 hours of continuous sunshine by packing in as many dinners, parties and festivals as possible.

Reyka, Iceland’s first vodka, is celebrating the holiday in the UK with summer solstice kits which have been placed in top bars to encourage bartenders to create innovative cocktails for the longest day of the year.

60 kits will be made available nationwide. The rugged packing crate contains information on the summer solstice and Iceland, sun jars, a terrarium, Reyka Icelandic bitters and a flavour mapping cocktail guide.

UK Reyka Brand Ambassador, Joe Petch will be visiting accounts using the Reyka summer solstice kits looking for creativity and inventive serves, and the top six bartenders will win a trip to Iceland to visit the home of Reyka vodka.
Alongside the on-trade kits, Reyka has created a series of solstice cocktails to encourage celebration of this year’s summer solstice in true Icelandic style. Eight Reyka cocktails have been developed, each with an inventive twist, taking inspiration from Iceland’s 24 hours of sunshine over the summer solstice.

Senior Brand Manager for Reyka vodka at First Drinks, James O’Connor commented: “Summer solstice is a major event in Iceland and a real source of creativity and inventiveness for islanders. We want to bring this spirit and energy to the UK with Reyka, and share it with UK bartenders.
“Vodka is still the most popular spirit in the on-trade and we’re seeing top bartenders getting more and more creative with it. We’re excited to see the kinds of serves the kits inspire and look forward to sharing the Icelandic experience with the six winning bartenders.”
Celebrated on Saturday 21st June this year, the summer solstice is a significant event in the Icelandic calendar. The day is marked with 24 hours of celebrations, festivals and activities.

Reyka Bitters Tasting Notes

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Bitters can be a bartenders best friend. Most bars will have a box full of wonderful flavours, all adding a different dimension to your favourite drink. From the most famous to the most extensive, your never short on possibilities, both in a bar or indeed at home. It’s also common these days for collaborations, creating a brand with ties with a big brother. Reyka vodka from Iceland has done such a thing in the last month, releasing their Reyka Bitters to the market.

Created by Reyka’s Master Distiller Lesley Gracie, she used botanicals such as Icelandic moss, angelica leaf and crowberry juice, all sourced from Iceland itself. To keep it exclusive, she has only produced 300 bottles, available in the UK only, and indeed only for the on-trade for the time being. 

But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes – 

Reyka Bitters – 40%

Light and fragrant angelica on the nose with a slight sweetness of honey coming through. A bold start on the palate, with the honey becoming more dominant, followed by the sweetness of caramel that creates a short mouth-watering effect. Superb. 

A really lively tipple, especially compared to other brands of bitters. Reyka recommend it to be served best within one of its signatures too –

Bitter Reyka

Glass – 

Rocks

Ingredients – 

50 ml Reyka vodka
2-3 drops of Reyka Bitters

Method – 

Pour the Reyka vodka over a couple of cubes of ice and add the bitters.

To coincide with the launch of Reyka Bitters back in March, William Grant (the company looking after Reyka Bitters here in the UK) ran a foraging expedition to Iceland with Reyka brand ambassador Joe Petch, for a group of British bartenders. For an expedition like this, and to really see the enthusiasm that Lesley Gracie had to create something a little different within the bitter category, must have been fantastic. To see a brand willing to open its world of not just how to produce, but to an extent how to create, is a rare treat, one that I hope to explore in the future! 

In the meantime, join me at the bar with a bottle of Reyka and some of their bitters. It’s time to enjoy.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.