Surakas Rüübe Fireweed Vodka (40%)

Surakas is a small craft distillery in northern Estonia. The company uses rectified spirit made from organic rye grown in Estonia, also distilled in Estonia. In addition to the basic unflavoured vodka, they have two flavored spirits. The manufacturer distills them with their own equipment, adding the hand-picked herbs to the rectified spirit, which the company thus redistills. I have made tea from fireweed leaves and flowers and it suits very well for that purpose. Fireweed has been commonly used in Estonian folklore to season food and liquor. The fireweed vodka can be purchased at Kaubamaja and Stockmann in Tallinn.

The aroma is sweetish and has a light herbal tinge. The aroma of fireweed is light and does not completely obscure the breadish taste of rye. The taste is light, lightly sweet and very smooth. The taste of fireweed is light and moderate, like the herb had been used sparingly. It could be clearly stronger when it comes to flavored vodka. The taste of the herb is barely felt here. Therefore, liquor is best drinked neat on the dining table instead of unflavoured liquor. The taste is a bit smoother than Rüübe pure vodka, probably due to one extra distillation and a slight sweetness.

On the other hand, it doesn’t suit so well for mixed drinks because there is not enough taste and it is more expensive than unflavoured vodka. For example, when extended with soda water, the taste of the herb is almost non-existent. The taste of fireweed is very original and cannot be properly compared to other herbs.


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