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About Monopolowa Vodka
Monopolowa Vodka is produced by J.A Baczewski, a family-owned company that produces several spirits such as vodka, whisky, and gin. Founded in 1782 near Lviv, the brand has undergone a long and complex history, and takes pride in once being the drink of choice among elites of the royal court. Although the Polish operations were destroyed for political reasons in 1939, family heirs recovered the recipes and continued the brand’s legacy in the 1950s. It is now based in Vienna, Austria.
This particular bottle of Monopolowa Vodka is made using potatoes, which are cooked in steamers before being fermented with yeast for about 72-96 hours. It is triple distilled to maximize smoothness. The final product is bottled at 80 proof.
❖ ABV: 40%
❖ Distillery: J.A Baczewski
❖ Aging: N/A
❖ Price Point: low price
My Tasting notes
The aroma of this vodka was light, fresh, and slightly earthy. Only after several sniffs did I detect any alcohol scent.
I took my first sip, and it was extremely smooth. The flavor was light and clean in the front, and then joined by a subtle earthy quality. The mouthfeel was smooth and buttery throughout. I was very impressed with the neutrality of the flavor, as I usually am sensitive to vodka flavor.
For my cocktail, I was super excited to try out this Corto Cup Cocktail Kit. This kit is a collaboration between the brands Corto Olive Oil and Camp Craft Cocktails. Corto Olive produces high quality olive oils, and is a family-run company in the true sense of the term. Camp Craft Cocktails is a women-owned small business that produces fun cocktail infusion kits.
The pair of brands were generous enough to gift us this kit, which includes dehydrated lemon, dehydrated cranberry, dehydrated sage, citrus infused sugar (non-GMO), and a whole 17oz bottle of Corto’s Lemongrass & Basil Olive Oil.
To prepare the infusion, I just had to pour 12oz of my vodka into the jar, which has the dehydrated ingredients all ready to go. After giving the jar a good shake, I left it in my fridge to infuse for 3 days. Then, it was time to prepare the cocktail.
The recipe provided by Camp Craft makes 2 servings, but I halved it for my purposes, since I was only making 1 drink. The measurements below are for 1 drink. If you prefer your cocktails a bit sweeter, you can also add 1oz of simple syrup to the amounts below. Their website includes the recipe without simple syrup, while the card included with the box has the recipe with simple syrup, so there seems to be some discretion involved depending on your personal taste.
1.5 oz strained vodka-infused Corto Cup
1 oz lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Agrumato-Method Lemongrass & Basil Olive Oil
- Add the ingredients to an ice-filled shaker, and shake until chilled (about 20 seconds)
- Strain the mixture into a chilled glass
- Using a dropper or straw, place a few larger dots of the olive oil on the surface of the cocktail
Inside of a cocktail, this vodka performed very well. The drink itself was tasty, with a pleasant tartness from the cranberry and an oily mouthfeel. The vodka was truly neutral against the other flavors, and it was impressively smooth.
This was my first time trying out an olive oil cocktail recipe, and I was surprised how much I liked the olive flavor notes. Though it was subtle on the palate, it allowed me to appreciate the olive as a plant. I’m so used to tasting olives alongside that vinegar flavor from the brine, or cooked into food where the olive flavor is not really noticeable. With the cocktail format, I felt as though I truly tasted an olive for the first time.
After tasting Monopolowa Vodka, I feel that it’s my new gold standard for judging vodkas moving forward. When I picked this up on a whim from the Trader Joe’s shelf, I honestly wasn’t expecting much, especially for such a low price point. However, it is remarkable in it’s clean simplicity, and its smoothness is unmatched in the vodkas that I’ve personally tried so far. I didn’t even know that a vodka could be this good.
This will absolutely be my go-to mixing vodka, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. And, since it’s so affordable, it’s great for any purpose. Do yourself a favor and try out Monopolowa Vodka for yourself!
As always, drink responsibly.
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