The Science of Staritsky & Levitsky Cocktail Competition Launches

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Staritsky & Levitsky premium vodka and award-winning UK importer Emporia Brands are proud to launch the Science of Staritsky & Levitsky as part of their ongoing campaign of H20 Cocktails, launched in 2016.

Launching in partnership with the UKBG (United Kingdom Bartenders Guild), Brand Manager Matthew Dakers is asking for budding bartenders from across the UK to create a unique serve, with a recipe that contains the elements of solid, liquid and gas. Entries are open now and will continue to be accepted until 12th May. The judging panel will select competitors from the submitted entries and invite them down to the final in London on May 22nd 2017.

To qualify, the venue must stock Staritsky & Levitsky vodka, and the recipe to use a minimum of 25ml Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve vodka as the base ingredient. The winning bartender will win themselves a Rotovap for use within their venue.

Inspiration behind their recipe is also needed. Staritsky & Levitsky was founded by a group of vodka enthusiasts, passionate about reviving the heritage and traditions of authentic, small batch vodka distillation in the historic birthplace of the vodka production, so vital to the Science of Staritsky & Levitsky campaign.

For full rules and how to enter, please see the below or speak to either Matthew Dakers ( or a local Emporia Brands representative found at




Please send you recipes to

  • Ingredients can be measured using a measuring cup/jigger or free poured.
  • Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve will be provided for the final.
  • All other ingredients to be supplied by competitor.
  • Competitors are expected to use their own bar utensils, and glassware to prepare the cocktails.
  • Garnishes will consist only of edible fruit or vegetable.
  • Each competitor shall be limited to six (6) minutes in mixing.



  • Each competitor must submit a recipe containing a minimum of 25ml of Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve
  • The recipe shall be an original creation.
  • Each competitor must submit a 50-100 words explaining their drink and what inspired their creation



Follow Staritsky & Levitsky on Facebook at, Twitter @SL_VodkaUK and Instagram at

Emporia Brands Appoint New Staritsky & Levitsky UK Brand Ambassador


Emporia Brands are proud to announce that Staritsky & Levitsky, the first super-premium vodka produced and distilled in the birthplace of grain vodka, Ukraine, has appointed Dainius Kazlauskas as its UK Brand Ambassador. Working with Emporia Brands, the vodka brands UK distributor, Dainius will be touring the UK over the coming months, visiting Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and London amongst others, and showing off a variety of unique serves of the Ukraine expressions including Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve, Private Cellar and Distil No.9.

The Lithuanian has been within the UK bar scene since 2004, and has worked at some of London’s best including National Café, Casino at the Empire, Cinnamon Soho, Bison Bar at Home House and Pachamama Bar and Grill Peruvian Restaurant in Marylebone.

Dainius Pic

Staritsky & Levitsky was founded by a group of vodka enthusiasts, passionate about reviving the heritage and traditions of authentic, small batch vodka distillation in the historic birthplace of the vodka production. After years of field trips, tastings and recipe research in the geographic “vodka belt” of Europe, they found the perfect place for their venture in the city of Lviv, in Ukraine, close to the Polish border and the protected Carpathian mountains with their crystal clear water wells, and with access to Ukraine’s black soil, which produces unique grains for distillation.



They craft all their spirits from single grain Ukrainian wheat, which is distilled five times in traditional copper stills before being filtered twice through charcoal and twice through rhinestone. The resulting vodka rests for an extensive time to gain its delicate balance and maturity.

Staritsky & Levitsky is already being enjoyed at some of London’s premium venues including Novikov and Mahiki, as well as supporting Cocktails in the City and on the shelf at Master of Malt, The Drink Shop, Gerry’s and Hedonism Wines.

Staritsky Levitsky and Distil. No.9

Staritsky Levitsky Reserve 2010

It’s odd, but as of 2014, there’s hardly any Ukrainian vodka brands available in the UK, which is surprising compared to its closeness to Russia, but it seems to be a country who is proud of its creations, yet have the unwillingness to share to the rest of the world. Staritsky Levitsky has broken this mould.

Ukraine has had many rulers over the years including Kievan Rus, the Golden Horde, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, The Russian Empire, The Kingdom of Poland, and, finally, the USSR. But its traditions have been maintained, and with Staritsky Levitsky, they’ve been revived after 100 years. Produced in a region of Ukraine named Precarpathia, Staritsky Levitsky only use Ukrainian grain harvested in August from black earth (considered some of the best agricultural soil in the world).

Couple this with spring water containing natural quartz and utilising a century old distillery to produce a small batch vodka, how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Distil No 9Staritsky Levitsky Reserve 2010 – 40%

Very smooth and clean on the nose with a slight floral aroma following. Green apples, a little spice and a smooth texture with hints of wheat on the palate. Short but memorable.

Not a bad vodka on its own, but the producers do say that a recommended way to enjoy is serving Staritsky Levitsky at 8-10 ° C and goes well when paired straight with a meal or cigar to enhance the flavours.

Distil. No.9 is their small batch version. Originally creating many batches of the traditional Ukraine distilling traditions, it was deemed batch 9 was worthy of release. Ukrainian wheat and pure water from the Carpathian springs are distilled five time and purified for four (twice through young birch charcoal and twice through rhinestone), each batch produces only 9999 bottles. So how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Distil. No.9 – 40%

A clean, fresh nose of wheat which carries onto the palate. A developing creamy richness, with hints of butter and a warm dry spice on the long finish.

A different take from the distillery, and goes well within one of these –

Odessa Blue
Odessa Blue

Odessa Blue 

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

50 ml Distil. No.9
10 ml Blue Curacao
25 ml Fresh lemon juice
25 ml Sugar syrup
30 ml Apple juice

Method – 

Stir all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass.

Both Worthy of inclusion within your drinks cabinet, or indeed can be found in London as many of the drinking establishments as well as further north very soon.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. 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.