Growing up in my late 20’s, my drink of choice was vodka. Even though it was my forbidden alcohol, the one that probably gave me the worst hangover in my life, I still came crawling back. If I was going out with friends for a night on the town, it usually meant that night would be vodka fueled.

During my 20’s I lost a lot of weight, around 80lbs to be exact. I gave up beer and the only drink I would touch was vodka water. This definitely wasn’t something you drank for the flavour, but it did “the trick”. Over the past few years, I gave up on the vodka waters and also have put back some of the weight on, but now I might have a reason to switch back.

purityvodkaPurity Vodka is the newest vodka to hit the LCBO shelves. Hailing from Sweden, the land of beautiful blondes, IKEA furniture and a slightly sub-par hockey team to our own, Purity is quickly becoming one of the most popular vodkas in the world. Produced at Ellinge Castle in the south of Sweden, the vodka is distilled 34 times (I guess 33 wasn’t enough) and during this process 90% of the liquid is lost. The vodka is made exclusively from natural ingredients including organic winter wheat and malted barley and is certified organic in Europe and the United States. They have already received over 80 Gold and Master awards, which according to Master Blender Thomas Kuuttanen, is more than all the other vodka companies.

This last week, Purity Vodka threw a small launch party at Studio 1098 on Yonge St. to mark their entry into LCBO stores around the Province. During the party I had the opportunity to do a blind taste test of Purity Vodka and Grey Goose. I was given two identical shot glasses, but had no idea which was which. One glass had significantly more liquid which made me think this was Purity, as they wouldn’t want to pour more of their competitor’s product then they needed to (my thought process). I tried the glass with less first, and was immediately met with a nice smooth sweet flavour. Was this really vodka? And if this was the Grey Goose, I wasn’t sure how the Purity could be even better. I tried the next glass and noticed it had a bit more of that rubbing alcohol flavour that most vodka has, and a bit more bite. I tried a few more sips of each because I didn’t want to offend the Mr. Kuuttanen as he had flown all the way from Sweden to introduce this vodka to us, but I liked the first one more and more with each sip. When I sheepishly told him I preferred the first, he informed me that this was his vodka.

Besides just having the vodka straight, they also had a few different cocktails at the event, prepared by cocktail expert Robin Kaufman of the Toronto Temperance Society. His vodka tonic was probably the best vodka tonic I’ve ever tried, possibly due to a special tonic concentrate (found at BYOB in Toronto) but maybe due to the vodka itself.

Either way, I look forward to picking up a bottle of Purity Vodka soon at the LCBO where it retails for $49.40. Next time you are looking to have a vodka martini, or if you are under 30 and drink vodka waters like I did, try it with Purity.