- Guest Blogger -
The water in Iceland has always had a very clean reputation, and this was proven in 2002 when an analysed water sample came in at 14 times purer than the purest bottled brands. William Grant & Sons then set out to make one of the cleanest and purest vodkas in the world using this water.
We chose a tiny fishing village 75km away from Reykjavik known as Borgarnes. Handily situated near the Grabrok spring where we source our water and also the 400 year old lava rocks that we use for filtration. The basalt Lava rock we use is incredibly porous and acts like a massive Britta filter, purifying anything that passes through it. The glacial water spends years travelling through beds of lava, purifying itself en-route. Taking inspiration from nature we decided to use the very same lava to filter our vodka. Reyka Vodka’s master distiller Þórður collects these rocks by hand and replaces them every 3 months. Another handy thing about our location is that it’s nearby one of the most powerful hot springs. We draw all of our energy from this hot spring and therefore have zero co2 emissions from our distillery.
Hot springs also give energy to a tomato farm not too far away, enabling them to grow delicious tomatoes 365 days a year despite the volatile environment. Due to this shared harnessing of nature, Reyka uses cherry tomatoes as its hero cocktail ingredient. Fresh cherry tomatoes, with their subtle aroma, sweetness & refreshing acidity bring out the vanilla and liquorice notes of the vodka. Think beyond Bloody Marys as the tomato is almost as versatile as the spirit itself. Our signature serve is the Puffin Collins which combines tomato, elderflower, pink grapefruit, Reyka & soda water.
Iceland was relatively late to the party having only come out of prohibition in 1989. They had Spanish wine but little else (a condition of trading Icelandic fish with Spain was that they had to buy Spanish wine – fair enough…). The Reyka distillery was the first in Iceland, and when our bespoke copper Carter Head still arrived, it was held in customs for 3 weeks as they believed it to be some kind of super weapon…
Reyka today is well-known for hailing from Iceland. As we use so much of the local & naturally sourced elements of the land of fire & ice, we like to say that Reyka vodka is made OF Iceland and without the desert-like lava fields, giant silent glaciers, steaming mossy plains & towering volcanoes we wouldn’t be able to make Reyka the way we do.
The Icelanders themselves are a unique & charmingly offbeat people. Having been formed by uncontrollable forces of nature, they have a powerful positivity in the face of naturally occurring disasters and the long dark winters. Being an isolated nation, mythology & story telling have been a huge part of their culture, and there are tales of elves & trolls (particularly in Borgarnes), and you can see evidence in the form of tiny orange painted houses on rocks & trees where elves are supposed to reside.
There is an orange house painted right on the front of our distillery.
Reyka Vodka is available in our Greene King Pubs, find your local pub to enjoy it!