Vodka The new spirit of Scotland
LET’S talk about porn. Not that kind of porn, of course – I mean the pictures you can post on Instagram without your account being suspended. Our conversations and social media platforms are full of incredible food and drink known as “food porn”. More recently “drink porn” has joined the ranks.
It describes something so good it’s a feast for the eyes. It’s the only phrase to describe sipping a perfectly-chilled Piqpoul de Pinet while staring at a plate of lightly steamed langoustines. Then, I thought to myself, “How could life get any better?”
That was until I find myself on a farm, being ushered out of freezing winds into a barn with no lights. I am on a potato farm. But not just a potato farm. It’s the home of Ogilvy Vodka distillery. It is the answer to every hipster dream yet it is anything but hipster. It is honest, pure and built on heart and soul. Graeme and Caroline Jarron, the husband-and-wife team who run it, are exemplars of innovation.
They are farmers who distil a unique vodka – all from perfect little tubers. The spirit itself challenges my clearly uneducated perception of vodka as tasteless nonsense best served with cola and used for cleaning windows. This is unctuous, creamy heaven. I sip it on ice and enjoy every second.
It represents a bold new Scotland, a stand-out product made from pure local ingredients and a real Scottish heart.
Next time you go to your local specialist or pop into a good bar ask for it and give it a go. Challenge your perceptions.
However, one perception I can’t challenge is being an Irish man standing next to a pile of potatoes, a sizzling steak and drinking chilled potato vodka. For me food and drink porn doesn’t get better than that.
WINE CHOICE Earthy, with a high level of tannins, Madirans taste best with hearty dishes. Try Plaimont Producteurs Reserve des Tuguets (£6, Tesco) for value and complexity.