UK launch for smooth premium vodka from Slovakia

Goral Vodka Master

A premium vodka from Slovakia, made with winter wheat and pure water from the Tatra Mountains, has been introduced in the UK.

Produced by Gas Familia Distillery, Goral Vodka Master was launched in Slovakia in 2010 and is now being distributed in the UK through Karla & Co.

Believed to be the first Slovak vodka on the UK market, it was launched to the bar trade yesterday with a masterclass at The Gibson, the bar in London’s Old Street headed by Slovak-born bartenders Marian Beke and Rusty Cerven.

The vodka is distilled from durum winter wheat that undergoes seven-column distillation and filtration through natural materials including charcoal and diamond. It is softened by water from springs in the Tatra Mountains, a protected natural area, and bottled at 40% ABV.

Master distiller Jan Krak, who created the vodka, said: “I have strived to perfect the distilling process to produce smooth, clean and timeless-tasting vodka.”

A “goral” is a person who traditionally lived in harsh conditions in the High Tatra Mountains and excelled in physical strength as well as spiritual purity.

On the nose, Goral Vodka Master is clean and light with mineral aromas mixed with subtle notes of mild pepper and caramel. It has a creamy taste with notes of spice and citrus.

Available through wholesalers, it is sold in retail for the recommended price of £30 per 70cl bottle. Karla & Co is seeking a UK distribution partner to help develop the brand.

At yesterday’s launch at The Gibson, Rusty created four special cocktails inspired by Slovak culture. The Janosik Cocktail, named after Robin Hood-like Slovak hero Juraj Jánošík, combined the vodka with a white wine infused with herbs from the Tatra Mountains plus “forager’s bitters” and a garnish of a cornichon.

The Fujara, named after a traditional Slovak musical instrument, used Goral Vodka Master infused with lemon myrtle, mixed with fresh gherkin juice, candied quince, fresh lime juice and elderflower liqueur.

Shady Pines combined Goral Vodka Master with blueberry cordial, kombucha and absinth plus pine and juniper smoke. The Goral Punch was a mix of vodka with homemade lemon sherbet, rhubarb juice and Becherovka, topped with champagne.

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