Last month I wrote about vodka and my attempts to embrace it as a spirit category. With some help from Pete and Rich at Hawksmoor, I managed to find a way of approaching vodka that left me more willing to experiment with it in cocktails. My conclusion after several hours of sipping and chatting was that it can, and should be, appreciated neat, but that it can also be a valuable base spirit in cocktails where you want to celebrate and support other ingredients without having the spirit get in the way.
I promised to follow up that blog with my thoughts on some of the brands that grace back bars and speed rails in fine cocktail bars around the world, but to do so I thought I’d better enlist some help once again. I gathered a small group of friends together and headed for the amazing bar at The Zetter Townhouse. The group was made up of a bartender, two bloggers and a cocktail enthusiast, in other words a mixed spectrum that I hoped would represent all types of drinkers. In order to make sure that there would be no bias or preconceived ideas, the tasting was conducted blind.