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Distilled – A new pink vodka from Provence

Our latest round-up of trends from the top shelf, including a pink vodka from the Comte de Grasse distillery, an explanation of the term 'peated whisky' and a recipe for the perfect Mojito.

In the pink with Provence vodka

Nothing says summer quite like a glass of pale pink Provence rosé wine – and France’s Comte de Grasse distillery captures that essence in its latest vodka. Made from a base of French winter wheat, 06 Vodka (Alc 37.5%) is created by Master Distiller Marie-Anne Contamin. Previously an aromatician, she has developed an ‘active wine extraction’ technique, based on methods used in the fragrance industry.

The process extracts flavour molecules and colour pigments from a Château Vert, Côte de Provence organic rosé wine. These molecules are infused into the neutral vodka, creating an aromatic and taste profile that will be very familiar to rosé drinkers. The nose is reminiscent of a glass of rosé, with delicate notes of strawberry that continue to the palate. Subtle florality, almonds and peach emerge, with a creamy texture.

Named for the 6pm aperitif hour on the Côte d’Azur, 06 Vodka makes an elegant Vodka Martini: garnish with a perfectly pink rose petal. £49/70cl Harvey Nichols

What is… peated whisky?

You may see the term ‘peated’ on a Scotch whisky bottle. Peat is a type of turf that can be burned as fuel. Peated whisky is made from malted barley that has been dried over a peat fire. That drying process usually takes about 30 hours and gives the finished dram a distinctive smoky character. Islay whiskies are known for their peatiness, which is measured in ppm (parts per million) of the organic compound phenol. Islay whiskies typically have 50ppm, while an average Highland whisky will only have 30ppm. Islay distillery Bruichladdich is famed for its Octomore range, bottled at 100ppm and considered the most heavily peated single malt whisky in the world.

What to drink now… Mojito

Cuban folklore links the ubiquitous summer cooler to Elizabethan explorer Sir Francis Drake; his crew drank a medicinal mix of mint, sugar, lime and sugar cane spirit that was named El Draque.

A mint, lime and sugar cocktail – now made with rum – became a hit with Americans in Prohibition-era Havana, with the first recipe for a ‘Mojo Criollo’ appearing in a Cuban publication El Arte de Hacer un Cocktail y Algo Más in 1927.

Try making it with Havana Club Original Añejo 3 Años, a lightly aged white rum (Alc 40%, £18-£23/70cl Widely available).


Ingredients: 60ml white rum, 15ml fresh lime juice, 15ml soda water, 10ml sugar syrup, 14 fresh mint leaves

Glass: Highball

Garnish: Mint sprigs

Method: Two-thirds fill a glass with crushed ice. Add mint leaves, rum, lime juice and sugar syrup, churn with a barspoon to mix. Top up the glass with more crushed ice, top with soda water and stir lightly before serving.

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