Review – Purity Vodka
In the world of vodka marketing, purity = profits. There are many dozens of brands available (many of which are very successful) which make often quite obscure claims about using particularly pure water, multiple distillations, and filtration through anything from charcoal to diamonds in order to lure customers into thinking they have achieved that holy grail of vodka success. It is not without a touch of cynicism therefore that we learn of a vodka going one step further an even naming itself ‘Purity’. Although distilled a huge 34 times from winter wheat and barley, this vodka from Seweden does stand out for not using charcoal (or allegedly any other filtration) filtering. Using a copper pot still, it is claimed that only 10% of the distillate makes the cut, which is then blended with a mix of deionised water, mineral-rich water and column-distilled wheat spirit. That last bit sounds intriguing, but the producers are strangely tight-lipped about what it actually means.
Neat: Sweet on the entrance (so much so that you would be forgiven for asking if sugar has been added) with the rounded mouthfeel this generates being replaced by a pleasant oiliness on the mid-palate which lingers onto the finish. As suggested by the nose, flavours of cream and vanilla combine with the merest hint of pepper, almond and grass to create a vodka that is in fact more complex than might have been expected. The finish ramps up the spice and adds a dash of citrus for good measure. Whilst the word purity conjured images of neutrality, there is in fact a little character to this vodka. The flavours are indeed ‘pure-tasting’ but not entirely at the expense of interest for the palate; this is an excellent example of a ‘plain’ vodka.
Mixing: Although this vodka is one of the more characterful ‘neutral’ vodka’s, it is not sufficiently bold in its flavour so as to be identifiable in cocktails with other assertive ingredients such as the Espresso Martini. Such drinks taste just great using Purity, but you won’t be able to tell that it is Purity in your drink or any other quality vodka. Although a decent example of it’s kind, this vodka therefore also highlights the downside to this category of spirits in that fans of punchy flavours won’t find themselves reaching for a Milano over a Negroni. The most pleasing results are therefore to be found in shorter, vodka heavy cocktails such as the Kangaroo or Jasmine Lassi Cocktail which, although composed of flavoursome ingredients, benefits from the viscosity and full-bodied character this vodka brings. An interesting, and delicious serve can be created by using the technique of infusing mineral water overnight with fruits and/or vegetables then stirring with the vodka in so-called H2O cocktails such as the Berry Purity H2O. The signature Ellinge Flower is a less time-consuming example of a similarly light cocktail that allows the character of this vodka to just about peek through the other ingredients.
Signature Cocktail – Ellinge Flower
2oz Purity Vodka, 0.25oz Elderflower Liqueur, 0.25oz Lemon Juice, Barspoon Apricot Preserve
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with elderflowers.
Purity vodka is an excellent example of its type. Delicate in both its aromas and flavours, but not entirely neutral in either, it maintains sufficient character to offer some interest in an otherwise dull sector, whilst retaining its raison d’etre of being a smooth and clean-tasting vodka.
Purity vodka is available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.