Review: This Ukrainian vodka is ‘a sheer delight to drink chilled’

The bottle

Vodka XDar, $ 13.99

The story behind it

Ukraine is a country that has long been associated with the production of vodka: the clear spirit is consumed at home and imported worldwide. And although Russia continues to wage war on Ukraine, vodka continues to flow.

Take XDar, a 20-year-old vodka brand that is based on what is considered a “modern, high-tech distillery” in the Cherkasy area, a city in central Ukraine. . At the outbreak of the war earlier this year, production was discontinued “to keep employees and their families safe,” says Natalya Kolosok, executive director of Liquorum Imports, the company that brings XDar to the U.S. and even though employees remained on the payroll during that period. time, they were anxious to get back to work, to “have a purpose,” as Kolosok explains.

There is definitely a demand for XDar (the name means “gift” in English). The brand sold 9.2 million boxes last year, a 30% increase over 2017 sales. Wheat-based vodka is made with what Kolosok describes as “ecologically pure artesian well water.” ; it also points to the fertile, black soil used in grain cultivation as another differentiating point.

As expected, Ukrainian vodka is attracting more attention during this war period. And Russian vodka? Not so much. Many American bars and retailers, and some entire states, have decided to ban alcoholic beverages made in Russia as a gesture of support for the Ukrainian people.

What do we think

At a time when there are more than a few luxury vodkas on the market, it’s nice to try one that offers everything you love about the spirit at a very modest price. It is a vodka defined by a certain freshness and clean taste, with a touch of vanilla to give it a little depth. It is also a delight to drink cold (in fact, the colder the better).

How to enjoy it

Like I said, cool it down for a cozy drink before dinner. But it’s the kind of vodka that will work on most vodka-based cocktails, for example, a screwdriver or the bloody Mary.

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