After its launch last year, we are beginning to recognise the Sauvelle brand in bars across London – in a city dominated by gin, vodka is determined to make a comeback.
And in an typically vodka fashion, the French brand launches of recent arrivals like Sauvelle are surrounded by glitz and glam – Sauvelle has gone for a luxurious look, edgy ambigram logo, and the hashtag #WildBeauty, inspired by it’s name – ‘wild and beautiful’.
But is there any substance behind the glam?
This week Sauvelle launched their limited edition La Nuit electro-luminescent Magnum (1.5l) and Jeroboam (3l) bottles at the Unit Gallery Soho, available online at 31 Dover – a sleek black bottle with gold lettering that certainly trumps many other vodka bottles in design.
Distiller Miko uses French Winter Wheat and Gensac spring water, triple filtered using chene du Limousin, charred oak, and cherry wood – giving Sauvelle it’s characteristic flavours.
On it’s own, the aroma and flavour notes are incredibly similar.
Neat: A lot of black pepper here, that powers over some sweeter notes of vanilla, oak, and almond. Creamy, the vodka is fun to enjoy alone, and goes well with tonic.
The Sauvelle & 17 cocktail served on the evening is essentially a Vodka Tonic with a vanilla pod garnish, which, though is meant to complement the subtle vanilla of the vodka, creates an overpowering nose.
However, the result is a wonderfully smooth vodka tonic for a sunny brunch Sunday.
Though there were a few cocktails up at the bar, the Hoodooist skipped those and the firey burlesque show to instead tinker around the Martini Bar hosted by Sauvelle and Belsazar vermouth, with the help of the wonderful flavoured DROPLETS by Javier de las Muelas.
Three very different Martinis were knocked out, amongst them was a Smoked Martini: A Martini using Sauvelle, White Belsazar vermouth, 5 drops of Oak Smoke Droplets and 2 of Orange Blossom Honey for a smokey number with a hint of sweetness to go with the light herby and orange of the Belsazar White.
Another fab spontaneous recipe went for a similarly dry Red Hot Martini, but bit of Dry Belsazar with three drops of Red Hot Chilli Droplets for the Sauvelle. A beautifully light, complex and aromatic cocktail with some serious bite.
All in all, though the official menu tended toward light cocktails, I found that Sauvelle works well in stronger drinks like Martinis. It’s black pepper flavour provides a little bit of spice, and the brand should not be afraid of exploiting that and not pay so much attention to the much subtler vanilla.
Find the smooth, spicy French Sauvelle Vodka at 31 Dover and remember that Martinis are always better stirred.
Unless you know, you’re one of those people.