Small batch, craft distilled Vodka
Distilled at the Winchester Distillery, our small batch vodka combines seven botanicals including local wasabi to create a spirit that is intense, fragrant and refreshing.
Wild wasabi growing alongside Japanese mountain streams takes advantage of the abundant supply of nutrient rich water, with a high, dissolved oxygen content - conditions not dissimilar to those of our local chalk streams.
The wasabi used in our Vodka, grown by the Wasabi Company, is the highest quality 'Sawa' type cultivated in local spring water rich in minerals and nutrients which naturally bubbles to the surface from artesian springs in Hampshire and Dorset.
Wasabi has a uniquely sweet taste and fiery heat which really wakes up the taste buds. Although it has traditionally been eaten with sushi, the flavour and pungency of wasabi has been recognised by many of the world ́s top chefs outside of Japan and it now regularly appears on European menus.
To make our unique vodka we add freshly grated wasabi and six other botanicals to British grain spirit and leave to macerate. This mixture is then redistilled in our copper pot to create a clear, finely balanced vodka full of flavour and spice.
Archaeological evidence shows the ancient Japanese were eating wasabi as early as 14,000B.C. By the 16th century cultivation had spread, but use was restricted to the Japanese ruling class. Production increased with the rise in popularity of sushi, when wasabi became the preferred flavouring.
Wasabi is a member of the Brassica family, which includes cabbages, horseradish and mustard. The prized rhizome varies from a very light to a darker green, often with a purple ring running through it.
The plant takes two years to reach maturity and is very particular about the conditions in which it grows. It is accustomed to summer shade provided by the leaves of large trees growing alongside the banks of slow-flowing streams.
We pride ourselves on the attention to detail that goes into each bottle. Every part of the process is performed by hand with each batch meticulously checked for consistency, quality & strength.
At the Winchester Distillery we do not have the means or indeed the desire to create a warehouse full of homogenous bottles of vodka. Our focus is purely on the provenance of our ingredients (locally sourced where we can), meticulous attention to detail in our distillation process and the quality and character of the end product.
We currently make our vodka in miniscule batches of only fifty bottles. Every part of our distillation process is performed by hand with our recipe as a guide whilst using our senses to fine-tune each batch to perfection.
We distil our vodka in traditional copper alquitar stills that have been used in alcohol production for centuries. Invented by the Moors, these pot stills run a slow, even distillation and produce a very fine grade spirit measuring around 85% ABV.
After gently grating the wasabi and mixing in the botanicals, we place it in our grain spirit and macerate for some time to release their essential oils. We then carefully redistill in our pot still removing the harsh heads and weak tails, keeping only the pure hearts for our vodka.
Place the ice in a tall tumbler and add the Vodka. Pour over the lemon and tomato juice and gently stir. If desired add a few drops of Worcester sauce or tabasco.
Garnish with salt & pepper and serve immediately.
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You can also checkout our Winchester Distillery page to get more information about us and our other Hampshire-inspired products.