A handful of ice, a dash of soda and perhaps a lemon wedge is all you need for the sweet, sharp and strangely smooth LongLeaf vodka. When we mention how surprisingly easy it is to drink to founder Ram Krish, he’s not surprised.
Last year LongLeaf scooped the highest tea-vodka rank at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Sophisticated infusions are rapidly making their way into bars around the globe. Krish is confident his all-natural approach sets LongLeaf apart. “All the other [flavoured] vodkas out there are synthetically flavoured,” Krish points out. “We use actual tea.” Produced and distilled in the Hunter Valley, Kirsh makes his own organic vodka with Australian rainwater. The Sri Lankan plantations from which the Ceylon tea is sourced have been in the Krish family for three generations.
The recipe was painstakingly formulated when Krish was still at university, completing an MBA (he had no shortage of willing fellow students for taste-testing). Ceaseless tweaking and numerous disaster batches lead to the current delicacy of LongLeaf’s flavour profile. The sweetness is complemented well by fruit liquors or perhaps a handful muddled berries. They go down easy, so just remember: 40 per cent.