Artisanal vodka has long had a reputation as being a neutral spirit - ideal for mixing, but not quite a ‘sipping drink’. Now, a new wave of Scottish vodka brands are returning to the source to create a barley vodka that showcases raw ingredients and harnesses greater character as a result. Enter: X MUSE.
Vodka is generally criticised as lacking character, described as colourless, odourless and flavourless, and often dismissed as tasting of nothing. Although this may once have been true in some areas across the world, this was not a universal view and is certainly not the case today, particularly amongst Scottish artisanal vodka brands. In this article, we shall be exploring what makes artisan vodka and some of the history behind Scottish vodka and the artisanal vodka production process.
The History of Artisanal Vodka
During the 1990s and early 2000s, vodka was very much a fan favourite, with artisan vodka manufacturers at that time leveraging purity over all else. Vodka brands extolled the purity of the natural water sources which they used to dilute their spirit, combined with the complex process of vodka filtration – via fossils, diamonds, or gold – which were utilised in order to purify the product.
In more recent years, there has been a reexamination of the situation. Vodka distillers can now be seen going back to basics to focus on what really matters: the artisanal vodka production process and what artisanal vodka is actually made from. As they emphasise this aspect, taking additional pride in the quality of the raw ingredients used, they continue to strive to ensure elements of this character remain within the finished product.
A truly complex artisanal vodka production process combines only the finest ingredients with the crystalline water sourced from the private well. This historic ancestral approach to obtaining handcrafted, local produce results in an exceptionally balanced vodka with a smooth and delicious taste.
Artisan Vodka VS Gin: The Scottish Vodka Revolution
Over the years, there has been a back and forth between gin and vodka brands, with each taking turns to peak in popularity. Gin as a spirit has enjoyed a healthy boom in recent decades and it would seem new Gin brands are creeping up quicker than you can count. So much so in fact that the market is now seemingly over-saturated, without leaving much space for further innovation. Nevertheless, an increase in interest in the niches of popular spirits has paved the way for a rise of a new boom in spirits: artisanal vodka. Rooted in hundreds of years of traditional processes, the centre of this revolutionary spirit remains in Scotland, with Scottish vodka brands and the artisanal vodka scene thriving in comparison to other spirits produced in the region. Vodka sales, for the most part, have been seen to decline in recent years, though this trend is influenced by the lower end of vodka brands, whereas sales of premium quality vodka have been proliferating.
Artisanal Vodka & Its Growing Popularity
The recent rise in vodka popularity boils down to it ticking the same boxes as gin spirits. Fresh and innovative vodka production methods have now resulted in vodkas that have unique and subtle flavour profiles. As a result, a larger number of cocktails using vodka have been emerging. To see some of these exciting vodka-based cocktails, head on over to our cocktail compendium.
Not only this, but artisanal vodka can in fact be healthy for you. When you consume it responsibly, vodka can be very heart-healthy, due to the fact it can reduce cholesterol and increase blood flow circulation. What’s more, vodka can often be considered a low-calorie alcohol spirit. Artisanal vodka in particular has been seen to address some of the more important aspects of the industry that were perhaps ignored too often.
Sustainable vodka production and consideration for an environmental footprint have been a recurring theme amongst vodka brands, and X Muse vodka is no exception. We pride ourselves on our careful consideration of the various ingredients and materials we use. Scotland in particular is host to a generous selection of sources for water and grains used in the artisanal vodka preparation process.