Tovaritch means comrade in Russian, and so we find Tovaritch Vodka to actually befit it’s name. It’s a wonderful companion for any vodka enthusiast, and is warm and welcoming to all. We recently had the pleasure of receiving two bottles from Ralph’s Wines & Spirits courtesy of Tovaritch & Spirits.
Tovaritch hails from St. Petersburg, and is based off a very old family recipe from the late 1700’s, created through study with the Imperial Court of Czarina Catherine II. While we don’t know the exact methodology, we do know the vodka is distilled five times, filtered through birch charcoal and silver, and is made with 100% organic grain with no artificial flavoring whatsoever. So far, we are quite impressed. The vodka itself has won several awards which confirms that we are dealing with a quality product. It’s also available at a very reasonable price point, coming behind it’s contemporaries yet providing a very competitive taste.
Let’s dive right into it shall we?
The bottle itself is bold, bright, and inviting. The logo and colors exclude a sense of early Soviet communism, when it was still exciting and hopeful and not desperate and depressing as in it’s later years. Workers uniting together, all comrades in arms with a spirit of sharing. Indeed, one of the vodka’s taglines is ‘Don’t drink alone’. It’s a very inviting image and works well.
Unfortunately despite the bottle’s strengths, it stands out amongst it’s peers in the wrong way. While the bottle design works, it also pushes an image of Soviet Constructivism, which espouses art for social purposes, and not for autonomous reasons. Compare this to other premium vodkas, who try and evoke a sense of being “elite” and standing out of the crowd, and we can see where the issue lies. It’s like having a warm, family run restaurant with grandma’s recipes on the chalkboard being situated next to a classy, high-end restaurant. Food will probably be great in both places, but the “vibe” is just different. One offers you a sense of being special, while the other a sense of being part of a family.
The vodka itself is clear without sediment.
Tovaritch has a strong and pleasant aroma of grain, alcohol and sugars. On the palette, we find a medium bodied, dry vodka. It’s not overpowering by any means and quite pleasant. There is a wonderful, creamy sweetness followed by hints of spice and nuts. The taste of grains comes out in the finish, which is of medium length.
What surprised us was there was absolutely no burn whatsoever. This was a pleasant surprise and overall we find Tovaritch to be a very smooth and delicious vodka, perfect for sipping sharing with some zakuskis.
As a mixing vodka, Tovaritch also shines. Neutral cocktails which rely on the alcohol’s flavor such as vodka tonics or vodka martinis benefit from the natural sweetness of Tovaritch, while fruit based cocktails become more palatable due to the lack of the burn. We especially liked it in a Bloody Mary – the savoriness of the tomato juice and zing of the Tabasco contrasted very well with the sweetness of the vodka.
Don’t let the labeling fool you. Tovaritch is a premium vodka, through and through, and we feel is actually better than many of it’s contemporaries. We would encourage anyone to pick up a bottle the next time your looking for a vodka for your bar at home or to bring to a party.