Reyka – vodka from the land of ice and fire

Iceland is home to one of the world’s most stunning natural landscapes, the Nordic country strewn liberally with lava fields, mountains and glaciers mostly untouched by the excesses of man. It’s also sparsely populated by any standard, the main reason being that a portion of its land is volcanically and geologically active. But all that lava rock – with its super filtration qualities – also means that much of the country’s water is as pure as pure can get.

And that pure water is one of the key components that go into the making of Reyka Vodka, made by Iceland’s only distillery. Originating from Borgarnes, a small town with strong Viking roots located on a peninsula on the west coast of Iceland more known as a stopover for people travelling to and from the country’s capital of Reykjavik, Reyka uses nearby lava rock-filtrated glacier spring water, as well as wheat imported from nearby Scotland, to make its precious spirit.

Reyka rare Carter-Head Still and lava rock

Reyka is the only vodka distillery in the world that employs a copper Carter-Head pot still to make vodka.

Debuting in Iceland in 2005, William Grant & Sons-owned Reyka uses a handcrafted process that produces a 1,000-litre batch each time. Reyka is the only vodka distillery in the world that employs a copper Carter-Head pot still (replica shown above, along with a sample of Icelandic volcanic rock) – first developed in the 19th century by the Carter brothers; Hendrick’s Gin uses a similar still – to make vodka. The final product comes across as exceptional smooth and rounded and with a silky finish, and said to contain a hint of wild fruits. And it’s already garnered a reputation – in 2011 Reyka was awarded the Vodka Trophy at the International Wine and Spirit Competition; in 2013 it landed a gold medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

joe petch reyka ambassador 2

And it’s now available in town, and Reyka’s UK brand ambassador Joe Petch (above) was recently in Singapore to helm a series of guest bartending sessions across different bars in Singapore to showcase the versatility and quality of the 40% ABV spirit. This included a cocktail pairing dinner at Catalunya where Petch and Catalunya’s award-winning mixologist Dario Nocentini teamed up to serve some incredible cocktails, as well as a night’s stint each at leading cocktail bars Jekyll & Hyde and Bitters & Love.

Reyka can be found at Art Bar, Sauce and Halia at Raffles Hotel. Now you can finally name another product from Iceland apart from Bjork.