AKA

AKA Vodka

From a customer’s point of view, you want to go for a brand that stands out to you, one that shouts “buy me!”. Poshmakers have been doing such a thing in the last few years with the release of -ish gin, accompanied by a marketing campaign that involves a lot of Soho-esque twists. But it’s not just the gin market that they’ve dabbled in though as they released the so-called ‘Secret British vodka, also known as AKA vodka’, or AKA for short.

The makers say that the brand is “unmistakably British . . . . with an air of sixties pop” and despite being ‘secret’, it can now finally be enjoyed by the vodka loving public. The background behind the brand is something akin to James Bond. It is said that in the heart of London in the late fifties, the KGB were developing a secret formula to conquer the International Vodka Market. It subsequently disappeared in mysterious circumstances until the Poshmakers discovered the formula by chance on a microfilm in a camera they came across at a vintage bazaar.

So with an air of British action, AKA is created from 100% British grain spirit and distilled five times in continuous stills, with 50% of the finished spirit re-distilled in a pot still in London. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

AKA – 40%

A clean, soft nose with a thick hit of grain coming through. Very soft on the palate though, again a clean mouth-feel with a slight spice and a dry finish.

Not bad on its own, but I think the cocktails could win you over –

Miss Poison (otherwise known as a Lychee and Blackberry Sling)

Glass – 

Old Fashioned

Ingredients – 

50 ml AKA vodka
Fresh Blackberries
90 ml Lychee Juice
Dash of lime juice and blackberry liqueur

Method – 

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with 3 ice cubes. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass and decorate with fresh blackberries.

or perhaps 

Die Twice (otherwise known as a Vesper Martini)

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients – 

20 ml AKA vodka
60 ml -ish London Dry gin
10 ml Lillet Blanc

Method – 

Shake all ingredients well in an ice-filled shaker until ice-cold. Strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Some good cocktail ideas and to be fair, uses a good vodka for its base. One to have in your drinks cabinet for sure, especially when watching James Bond. It just feels right!

© 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.

Virgin Gorda Tasting Notes

virgin gorda

What do you think of if I said the word blended? Whisky maybe? How about rum? You might ponder at this one, rum production isn’t as widely known compared to whisky so you could easily say yes to this without realising. Virgin Gorda is one of the first mainstream rums to be blended from three different islands – Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica, and is said to explore the most sensual side of the Caribbean.

Virgin Gorda is categorised as a golden rum, produced by distilling fermented sugar cane in the traditional pot still method, then spending an average age of seven years in old, American oak Bourbon barrels. Within these barrels includes 20% of 8yr rum. A factor taken with pride that sets Virgin Gorda from others is the 100% natural state – no colour, flavour or aroma additives are used and instead seek out the essences of Trinidad freshness and vanilla, Jamaican body of molasses and a woody aged characteristic from Barbados.

Virgin Gorda is a tribute to the explorers of all time, in particular Christopher Columbus. During his second voyage to Americas in 1493, he became amazed with the beauty of the third largest island in The Virgin Islands, promptly naming it ‘Virgen Gorda’. Todays spelling comes after The Virgin Islands came under British rule.

So with a slightly patriotic edge to this rum, how does it fare?

Virgin Gorda – 40%

Intense vanilla and toffee dominate the nose with a freshness flowing through. A long offering of toffee warms the palate up with vanilla following to a sweet end.

With three Caribbean islands represented, it’s only apt that you should try the following –

Virgin Caribbean Heat

Glass –

Rocks

Ingredients –

60ml Virgin Gorda
30ml Amaretto
Cranberry Juice
Maraschino Cherries
Orange Slice

Method –

Shake the Virgin Gorda and Amaretto in a ice-filled cocktail shaker, pour into a rocks glass with ice and fill with cranberry juice. Garnish with Maraschino cherries and a slice of orange.

Could it become any more refreshing? Virgin Gorda will be a highlight in any night, and is becoming increasingly popular for both bartenders and consumers. Don’t be surprised if you happen to see this blended rum on many a bar – it’s some damn fine Caribbean stuff.

Check out the rest of the photos, taken at The Circle 360, via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. 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.

-ish and -ish Limed Tasting Notes

Ish

Do you like breaking the rules? Becoming a little naughty? Perhaps so much it’s a fetish? Whatever your answer, your sure to enjoy this rather attractive and alluring gin named -ish. This London Dry gin returns to the traditional style but comes with a twist of an extra shot of juniper. It comes without any added infusions or flavours which gives it the perfect brit-ish gin for the classics gin and tonic or martini.

So how does something so devilishly good-looking come about?

-ish is five times distilled in a traditional pot still in the heart of London town where high quality English grain spirit is used along with twelve botanicals. Juniper, coriander seed and angelica root are blended with almond, orris root, nutmeg, cinnamon, cassia, liquorice, lemon peel and orange peel. The botanicals are macerated for 24 hours before the distillation begins. After a two-week resting period which allows the botanicals to become fully integrated, the –ish concentrate is then blended. The ratio of –ish concentrate to alcohol and water is relatively high, which provides a more complex mouth-feel and body.

So with this in mind, below I give to you my tasting notes, as well as the new variation to join the portfolio –

Irresistible Scandalous
Irresistible Scandalous

-ish – 41%

Rather smooth and refined on the nose with juniper dominating as expected. Very smooth on the palate with a slight sharpness nearing the end. A little sweet but balances well with citrus and orange noticeable.

-ish Limed – 40%

Juniper, coriander seed and angelica root, orris root, liquorice, lemon peel, orange peel and lime powder are macerated for 24 hours before distillation. Smooth and gentle on the nose with the lime coming through slowly. Smooth on the palate too, with a hint of sharpness coming through gradually. The lime dominates with noticeable hits of orange near the long finish.

With the balance of flavours rounding off the gin, here’s something that could really work –

Engl -ish Breakfast

Glass –

Martini

Ingredients –

50 ml -ish
20 ml Triple Sec
20 ml Fresh lemon juice
1 spoonful of orange marmalade

Method –

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass. Add orange shavings to garnish.

A little naughty recipe, perfect to have for breakfast too. Lets start a new fetish trend!

Check out the rest of the photos, taken at The Circle 360, via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. 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.