The history about the Vodka
In the 1990’s the company set out to discover the secrets of vodka; its origins, history and lore. Travelling through Poland and meeting with those who shared their passion, they learned many things and heard many stories. One that intrigued them the most was a story that was picked up in snippets and fragments all over Poland. It told of the legendary alchemist Sendivogius and a magical vodka that he distilled for the court of King Sigismund III. Some said that this was the medicine that saved the King from an incurable disease in 1606. Others said that he made it while court alchemist a dozen years earlier.
The recipe, like the story, was remembered only in fragments. But by seeking out scholars of alchemy, consulting buried texts and working with some of Poland’s finest distillers, they have recreated the legendary royal elixir. The elusive genius of Sendivogius has been recaptured, distilled and bottled as U’Luvka: The stuff of legend; the spirit of genius.
Alchemy, Alcohol and Vodka
The art of distillation was established in the 8th century by Arab alchemists, who embraced the primordial understanding that all created things consist of three principles – soul, spirit and body. They recognised alcohol as the spirit latent in all plants and called it the water of life. It took another three and a half centuries for the secrets of distillation to arrive in the Christian West. Regarded as a medicinal elixir and revered for its apparently magical properties, it was not until its widespread application as a remedy against the plague that alcoholic spirit became widely distilled and imbibed. Before long there were stills in every city in Europe.
Vodka quickly established itself as the spirit of choice in Poland and Russia, both countries claiming to have discovered it first. Its name comes from the same word -voda/woda – meaning ‘water’ in both Russian and Polish.
The best vodka is made from finest rye and grain; singly or in combination. It is the noble grains that give the vodka its essential character, its soul. The soul in vodka speaks to the soul in man. No wonder the Poles and Russians, with their tremendous sense of soul, should choose vodka as their national drink.
U’Luvka is not so much a new arrival as a great revival. It is a recreation of a legendary Royal vodka of the late 16th century, made by some of Poland’s finest modern alchemists. The creators of U’Luvka have striven for purity, character and authenticity, using only the noblest cereals, crystalline deep well water and cunningly sourced traditional recipes.
U’Luvka is made in full appreciation of the transformative, alchemical processes involved. The finest Polish rye and grain are added to fine water and mashed; then fertilised with yeast, begetting a seething fermentation, which frees the soul and spirit from the body of the corn. Once the ferment is spent, the brew is ready for careful batch distillation.
Distillation is an elemental process that separates the subtle from the gross, the essential from the unessential, carrying over the spirit and soul of the mother brew. With each distillation, however, some of the volatile, characterising essences are lost. Modern commercial distillers tend to over-rectify, sacrificing character for homogeneity, flavour for blandness. U’Luvka is distilled just three times, ensuring strength, purity and smoothness, while retaining character, body and depth of flavour.
By emphasising character and tradition; utilising the best of ancient and modern techniques and nurturing a reverence for process, it has been ensured that U’Luvka is the living soul of vodka.
The iconic glass bottle
It was inspired by ancient alchemical distillation vessels. Alchemy is all about transformation, and every transformation involves the balance between opposites: light and dark, negative and positive and, that most potent of all transformative oppositions, the dance of man and woman, which is ultimately the dance of life itself. The U’Luvka bottle is a physical representation of the balance between male & female, with the rounded base representing ‘female’ and the elegant neck ‘male’.
The beautiful simplicity of the bottle is kept free of ornamentation because it needs none: when something is in harmony, it is inherently beautiful… ‘Form follows Function’. And when something is simple and beautiful, it’s usually practical too: all the bartenders love U’Luvka’s design because the kink in the waist makes a perfect thumb rest for smooth pouring.
How to drink it
U’Luvka is quite delicious. It is so smooth that, unusually, it tastes just as good at room temperature as it does chilled. We love it just the way it is, but just because it tastes so good straight or on the rocks doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be mixed.