Friday, 18 October 2013

Blackberry Vodka Experiment - The Results

Aoife, Cambridge

It's finally time to reveal the results of my blackberry vodka experiment. The aim of the experiment was to determine how much it was necessary to spend on vodka for infusing purposes. In the past I've shied away from using the absolute cheapest brand but this was down to my own prejudices. It was time to get to the truth of the matter. The blackberries had been infusing for about 6 weeks so I roped in the long suffering Husband and Alan Alder from Flavour on Cambridge 105 to help me taste the vodkas.

We all agreed that the fruit flavour made it difficult to taste the difference between the vodkas. Without sugar, it was slightly easier to taste the difference and the Tesco value brand tasted particularly flat and uninteresting. However, the experiments that included sugar really rounded the harsh edges off the cheaper vodka and it was perfectly drinkable. It was still possible to taste the difference between the premium Grey Goose and the Tesco value but not enough to put you off if you were on a tight budget.

Smirnoff and Ketel One were both quite disappointing, the real winner in this experiment was the Tamova, the "premium" Aldi brand. This stood up really well to Grey Goose and was the favourite of at least one of the tasters. Tamova is the same abv (40%) as Grey Goose but less than half the price (£19.38/L compared to £48.50/L). I will definitely be using this again. It's slightly more expensive than a standard brand like Smirnoff but has infinitely more taste and a higher abv.

My one disappointment was that I didn't have any Russian Standard (one of my favourites) on hand to include in the experiment. I will just have to keep on experimenting.
The blackberry vodka and my lemon verbena sugar syrup also made an excellent medium for poaching some little pears. Served with some natural yoghurt it was a perfect Autumnal desert.

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