I once had a dream I woke up in Copenhagen, took a train to Sweden and was whisked away to a 13th Century castle where I learned about vodka distilling. Oh, wait, that actually happened.
Known for popular brands like Absolut and Svedka, Sweden is also home to Purity, a small-batch organic distillery located at Ellinge Castle, near Malmo, Sweden. Along with journalist Marguerite Richards,I journeyed there on assignment for The Somm Journal magazine for their August/September 2014 issue (see the PDF here).
We delved into the distillation process (Purity undergoes thirty-four rounds) while hearing from master blender Thomas Kuuttanen about his obsession with Purity. Then we wandered the verdant grounds of Ellinge Castle, imagining the fairytale setting for a wedding that was busily being prepared for the next day, and pondering older times when estate workers were actually paid in vodka. And, of course, we tasted.
If it takes thirty-four rounds of distillation to achieve the results that reached my lips, I’ll happily wait patiently.
I don’t know if it is Sweden talking, but I just might have fallen in love with vodka. I’ll cheers, or as the Swedes say, skål to that.