It's about that time again, time for a new product release! Our brand new Waxflower Vodka. There's a lot to dive into when it comes to this latest release, and part of that involves discussing the differences between gin and vodka, but first I want to address one huge misconception that consumers often have about vodka.
Vodka. Made from potatoes, right? Wrong! Whilst it can be made from poatoes, vodka is essentially just a neutral spirit comprised mostly of ethanol and water. In fact when we make our own neutral spirit here at TB we're actually starting off by making a vodka.
The only real difference between gin and vodka is that gin has had juniper infused into it in some way. Here at Tiny Bear that's by vapour infusion, but there are a few other ways that distiller's get their junipery goodness into the gin as well, such as steeping their neutral spirit (aka their vodka!) in juniper berries after it's been distilled, or by putting their juniper berries in the boiler of their still.
You can go ahead and add a bunch of the same ingredients that you might typically find in a gin such as coriander, angelica root, aniseed, whatever it might be to a vodka, but without the key juniper ingredient its essentially just a botanical vodka. Wait what am I saying... "JUST" a botanical vodka? It seems to me that for a long time now us gin drinkers have been turning up our noses at the idea of a vodka, when in reality we're actually drinking a type of vodka when we're drinking a gin anyway. So we decided that its high time we stopped turning our noses up, and started turning them down towards a delicious snifter glass full of botanical vodka.
That's where the Waxflower comes in. A couple of years ago friend of the distillery, Dr. James Hutchinson, popped by the distillery with some samples of Philotheca (Common name - wax flower ) lovingly picked from his backyard. "These might go nicely in a gin, who knows - they could be the next big botanical that everyone's raving about!". So we chucked it in the botanical basket it and gave it a whirl. The spirit that came out of the still was incredible, and so highly perfumed it just about knocked our socks off (Mind you, maybe that's because it was still 95% alcohol at that point in time). We loved it, and we knew we wanted to make more. But then covid happened and things got in the way. This beautiful little sample of spirit went onto the R&D shelf and was almost forgotten about, until now.
To make this delightful vodka we got in touch with our friends at Creative Native, who ethically source native Australian ingredients, to get our hands on more wax flower. We're super proud that all of our native Australian botanicals come from these legends, as they actively give back to the Indigenous community which has cultivated some of these ingredients for 1000's of years. They have created a fund which aims to build a resource that ultimately awards native food related projects to Indigenous groups to foster participation, capacity and sustainability in the native food supply chain. To donate click here.
So after all that, what does it actually taste like? It's basically like kaffir lime leaves on overdrive. With an added whack of lemongrass and a hint of strawberries. Its a super bright and zesty vodka, but you can basically treat it like a gin and mix it with tonic or soda. To get your hands on some you can grab it from the webstore. As always, our Den Members have priority access to this bad boy before it's announced to the public.
I truly hope you enjoy this delightful vodka!