Hi-Spirits is setting out to expand distribution of the vodka in the on-trade after introducing it to the UK last summer on behalf of owner SPI Spirits, which also owns vodka brand Stolichnaya.
Activity will include promotion of signature serve, The Moskovite, which is made by mixing Moskovskaya with peach liqueur, ginger, lime wedges and basil leaves.
At 38% ABV, Moskovskaya uses traditional methods to achieve a purity and depth of character. Originally distilled in Moscow and now made in Latvia to the original recipe, the brand aims to stay true to its Russian roots.
Hi-Spirits managing director Dan Bolton said: “We’ve been distributing Moskovskaya in the UK since last summer, and what we’ve learnt is that it already commands strong loyalty amongst bartenders who have discovered it. As well as respect for its heritage, they appreciate its versatility as a cocktail base.
“Our exclusive Moskovite cocktail, made with peach liqueur, ginger and lime, is a great addition to cocktail menus and a driver of sales, and we’re also incentivising bartenders to create their own Moskovskaya drinks.”
Hi-Spirits’ Moskovskaya cocktail competition offers three prizes of trips to the Moscow Bar Show in September. Bartenders are being asked to create a serve that references a fact about the brand.
Dan added: “We are now targeting significant expansion of Moskovskaya in the on-trade, raising awareness of the brand and its heritage, and focusing on operators who appreciate the fact that you won’t find a more authentic vodka offering such good value.
“Moskovskaya is a brand that perfectly bridges the gap between premium and mainstream pubs and bars. It works best in venues which generate genuine excitement about interesting brands and where there’s bartender advocacy for interesting serves.”
The Lexington in Pentonville Road, close to King’s Cross in London, switched to Moskovskaya as its house pour towards the end of 2013. The busy bar is a popular live music venue and has also built a reputation for its drinks range, including a wide choice of bourbons and craft beers.
Lexington general manager Chris Smith said: “Although we’re known as a bourbon specialist, like any bar we sell plenty of vodka, mainly with mixers such as cola and lemonade. Serving high-quality, authentic brands is at the heart of our appeal, and so Moskovskaya has proven to be a good fit for us.
“It looks and tastes right, and customers appreciate the fact that we take the same trouble selecting our house vodka as we do with all the spirit brands we stock.”
33ml Moskovskaya Vodka
15ml Peach liqueur
3 lime wedges
4 basil leaves
In a tall glass, squeeze the lime wedges and add three torn basil leaves. Fill with ice, add the rest of the ingredients, then stir. Garnish with a lime slice and a basil leaf.
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