Two Smooth Brands to Celebrate on National Vodka Day

Main image: denisvrublevski / iStock / Getty Images Plus. All recipes and recipe images attributed to respective brands unless otherwise noted.

National Vodka Day (October 4) is an opportunity to celebrate the top-selling spirit category in America. That’s right – whiskeys of all kinds may be exploding in popularity but vodka still holds the throne. Part of vodka’s success is owed to its boundless mixability; it’s equally capable of playing a starring or supporting role in cocktails.

Another reason vodka is so popular is the wide range of items that can be used in its production. Distillers are bringing vodkas to market made from all manner of intriguing bases, experimenting with the exotic, the elegant and the eccentric. Two excellent examples of modern, divergent vodka production are Absolut Elyx and Black Cow.

The Elyx brand considers its vodka the world’s first truly luxurious vodka, and its subtly lavish approach to production and branding certainly supports that claim. Elyx is a single estate vodka: only winter wheat grown on a family-owned farm is used, and the farm first began operation in the 1400s. A vintage copper column still nicknamed Column 51 is used to distill Elyx manually – no computers are involved – smoothing out the liquid. As an operator, manager, bartender or server, you’ve no doubt seen the striking Elyx copper vessels created for service, promotion and branding. Is it eccentric to use a grain to make vodka? No. But to source one particular grain from one specific farm that first began growing said grain six centuries ago? Now we’re deep in unconventional territory.

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that grain vodka, no matter how luxurious, isn’t knocking off your socks. What if I told you there’s vodka out there that was invented by a dairy farmer, made from fresh whole milk? Because there is, and it’s produced exclusively from the milk of grass-fed cows.

Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka is the brainchild of dairy farmer Jason Barber, and to say his vodka is “different” doesn’t quite do the process justice. First, fresh whole milk from Dorset’s herd is separated into curds and whey (yes, like in the nursery rhyme). The whey is then fermented using a special yeast that transforms the milk sugar into alcohol, creating a milk beer. Distillation is next, followed by a proprietary blending process, triple filtration, finishing, and hand bottling. Black Cow is remarkably smooth, and its creamy texture speaks to its unique production process. And because we know what you’re thinking, no, it doesn’t taste anything at all like milk.

This National Vodka Day, make a point of building a promotion around unique, smooth vodkas that offer something special on their own or in cocktails. We’ve presented you with two smooth, pioneering vodka brands to get you started, and below you’ll find fall and winter cocktail recipes from Elyx and Black Cow. Whatever you choose to offer your guests, give serious consideration to the unusual, the local, and the seasonally appropriate.



Absolut Elyx Vodka Raspberry Mule cocktail - 2017 National Vodka Day recipes
Raspberry Mule
  • 2 parts Absolut Elyx
  • 1 part Raspberry cordial
  • 1 part Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ginger beer to top
  • Raspberry to garnish

Build over cubed ice in a cup, topped with crushed ice and garnish with a fresh raspberry. Two Absolut Elyx Julep Copper Cups.


Absolut Elyx Vodka Fall in Luxe cocktail - 2017 National Vodka Day recipes
Fall in Luxe
  • 2 parts Absolut Elyx
  • 2 parts Cloudy apple juice
  • ½ part Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dash Angostura Bitters
  • Ginger beer top top
  • Cinnamon sticks to garnish

Build in a highball glass over cubed ice. Top with ginger beer, stir gently, and garnish with cinnamon sticks.


Absolut Elyx Vodka Dram & Blast cocktail - 2017 National Vodka Day recipes
Dram & Blast
  • 2 parts Absolut Elyx
  • ½ part Pimento Dram
  • 1 part Pineapple juice
  • 1 part Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 part Honey syrup (1:1)
  • Dehydrated pineapple wheel to garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin over cubed ice. Shake, then strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and garnish. The Elyx Copper Cocktail Coupe is ideal for serving the Dram & Blast.


Absolut Elyx Vodka Yule Mule cocktail - 2017 National Vodka Day recipes
Yule Mule
  • 3 parts Absolut Elyx
  • 1 part Cranberry cordial
  • 1 part Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ginger beer to top
  • 3 Lime wheels and star anise to garnish

Combine all ingredients in a copper Mule cup over crushed ice, top with ginger beer, and garnish. The Elyx Copper Mule Cup is the perfect vessel for the Yule Mule, but it’s currently sold out so talk to your rep!


Black Cow Vodka Fireside Punch cocktail - 2017 National Vodka Day recipes
Fireside Punch

Created by Alicia Walton, The Sea Star

  • 40ml Black Cow
  • 20ml Fresh lemon juice
  • 20ml Honey syrup
  • 15ml Amaretto
  • 2 teaspoon Allspice dram
  • Dry sparkling wine such as Blanc de Blancs to top
  • Slice of lemon or star anise to garnish

Shake ingredients and fine strain in a double rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon or star anise. To make a punch, follow the following recipe:

  • 1 50cl bottle Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka
  • 340ml Lemon juice
  • 340ml Honey syrup
  • 230ml Amaretto
  • 110ml Allspice dram

Dilute with 450ml of water and fill the punch bowl with ice cubes or an ice block. An ice block provides less dilution, so you may need to add additional water to taste. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with cinnamon sticks, clove-spiked lemon segments, and star anise. Edible flowers are a nice touch if available.


Black Cow Vodka Mooled Cranberry cocktail - 2017 National Vodka Day recipes
Mooled Cranberry

Created by Harry Roper, Black Cow brand ambassador

  • 40ml Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka
  • 15ml Solerno
  • 10ml Lime juice
  • 80ml Cranberry juice
  • 4 cloves and dried fruit to garnish

Put all ingredients into a milk-frothing jug or small saucepan, then heat by steaming through or with gentle flame until the liquid gives off a light vapor. Double strain into a teacup, and garnish with dried fruit slice and cloves.


Black Cow Vodka Gingerbread Moohattan cocktail - 2017 National Vodka Day recipes
Gingerbread Moohattan
  • 50ml Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka
  • 20ml Sweet vermouth
  • 5ml Monin Gingerbread
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 2 Maraschino cherries to garnish

Stir and strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with two maraschino cherries.


Black Cow Vodka Nutty Cow cocktail - 2017 National Vodka Day recipes
Nutty Cow
  • 40ml Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka
  • 5ml Amaretto
    10ml Maple syrup
  • 10ml Lime juice
  • 80ml Apple juice
  • 3 slices fresh ginger and cinnamon stick to garnish

Muddle the ginger inside a milk-frothing jug or small saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat gently by steaming through or above a low heat until a light vapor emits. Double strain into a teacup and garnish with a cinnamon stick and fresh ginger.

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