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Volcanic Vodka


Iceland is in the news these daysâ??perhaps not in a way they might prefer, but any news is good news (to a degree) for a country that normally flies totally under the radar. Something air traffic hasn't been able to do, of course.

It was coincidental, I swear, that a friend with Icelandic lineage happened to proffer a bottle of Icelandic vodka last week, right at the peak of the volcanic ash incident. Reyka claims volcanic rock filtration, so I thought I'd get, by extension, an indirect, and less toxic, feeling for the current crisis. Eau d'ash here we come.

Not so. There was a nice, clean minerality, and a little underlying citrus, but no fire and brimstone. Probably just as well, as sulfur doesn't present itself as an especially appealing aromatic component. One review, instead, suggests that “a delightful nose of sweet rose and fresh-cut hay fills the senses with clarity.” Didn't get that either. But given that the water used is tested to have zero impurities and that the distillery is powered by geothermal energy, Reyka (it means steam or smoke) is worth trying for its eco-imprint, or lack of it, alone.

There are also some totally funky videos (they remind me on Monty Python)to be found on the utterly odd website,, curiously, there is no information on the vodka itself that I could unearth. You get a deadpan girl in “cool” Icelandic sweater, some cute stories on the various decorative capsules that cap the bottles, a recipe for a martini (six parts chilled vodka, period), and a sign to click to make a volcano erupt. Oops.

Do google (is it lower case when a verb?) Reyka and check out the product through other sources, however. And if you come across the grain-based product locally, why not give it a try? Pay attention to the capsule, too; it matters if you get a dragon, a puffin, a narwhal, a sealâ?¦.

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