5 uniquely flavoured spirits

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Words: Matt Looker

From Strawberries and Cream to Rock Sea Salt, add some unique spirits to your drink cabinet this summer.

Spirit infusions are now so popular that whole ranges are available on the shelf of your local supermarket. We've all seen vanilla-flavoured vodkas, raspberry-flavoured vodkas and a whole host of other flavours that you might also expect to see in your average ice cream parlour.

Dig a little deeper and you might even find some more unusual flavours from popular brands. I could, for example, write a whole separate blog post on Stolichnaya's delicious Salted Caramel vodka alone... and I probably will at some point.

For now though, let's focus on the lesser-known brands and even lesser-known flavours that are well worth seeking out. 

So here are some excellent, uniquely flavoured spirits to add to your wish-list, along with some ideas of how to use them in a cocktail.

© Matt Looker (Instagram: @CocktailChap)

Lemongrass And Ginger Vodka

Angels Tears Vodka

Taking a cue from the craft gin craze that isn't slowing down anytime soon, Angels Tears Vodka is leading the way in bringing botanicals to vodka, with striking results. Their Pink Peppercorn And Rose Petal Vodka brings spice and floral notes together in a beautiful way, but this infusion is more versatile, bringing a hint of Asian flavours to work with.

It may seem very simple, but this Lemongrass Mule, a variation on the classic, really helps bring those flavours out.

  • 1 1/2 shots Angels Tears’ Lemongrass And Ginger Vodka
  • 1/2 shot Fresh Lime Juice
  • Fiery Ginger Beer

Method: Stir all ingredients in an ice-filled glass.

© Matt Looker (Instagram: @CocktailChap)

Strawberries And Cream flavoured 'Picnic' Gin

Poetic Licence Distillery

This limited edition summer spirit is the very spirit of summer, with a sweet and smooth taste perfect for enjoying in the sunshine.

A dozen ways to use this spring to mind, but first things first: how can you not make a Picnic Gin And Tonic? 

  • Elderflower Tonic
  • 2 shots Strawberries And Cream Gin
  • Strawberries to garnish

Method: Stir all ingredients in an ice-filled glass.

© Matt Looker (Instagram: @CocktailChap)

Rock Sea Salt Vodka

Isle Of Wight Distillery

Salted vodka sounds awfully dry, doesn’t it? But this tasty spirit from Isle of Wight Distillery has all the flavour of salt with none of the dehydration, giving the faintest subtlety of sea air which elevates any drink.

For a cocktail, the applications are endless, but surely the temptation to pair salt with pepper is too much? I have called this original creation a Pineapple Push, and the result is a tropical tipple with a hint of fresh spice.

  • 2 shots Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • 2 shots Rock Sea Salt Vodka
  • 1 shot Homemade Black Pepper Syrup

Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and pour over more ice. Garnish with a cracked black pepper rim and a hefty chunk of Pineapple.

© Matt Looker (Instagram: @CocktailChap)

Whiskey Cask-Aged Vodka

RubyBlue Spirits

This is a must-have for whiskey-loving mixologists: the combination of two premium spirits in one drink. RubyBlue store their already excellent vodka in Irish Whiskey Barrels for four months, lends notes of spicy vanilla and – of course – a whiskey aroma, in what is still a mellow-tasting spirit.

As such, this is a drink that needs to be drunk as neat as possible, and what sounds better than a Whiskey-finished Dry Martini? Creole bitters would work best at bringing out the smoky flavour of the whiskey, but orange bitters would work too if that’s all you have available.

  • 1/4 shot Dry Vermouth
  • 2 shots Whiskey Cask-aged Vodka
  • Bitters

Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini. Garnish with a lemon twist.

© Matt Looker (Instagram: @CocktailChap)

Black Ginger Rum


While black and spiced rums are hardly unusual, Spytail’s offering is truly unique for its ginger-forward combination of ingredients, inspired by a 19th-century recipe. Using a Caribbean blend, this is a rum filled with wonderful flavour.

Adding so much wonderful spice to lots of fruity goodness has to be the best thing ever, right? You bet. This Spiced Berry Caipirinha is a flavour explosion in a glass.

  • 1/2 Lime
  • 3 Blueberries
  • 2 shots Black Ginger Rum
  • 3 Blackberries
  • 2 Strawberries
  • 3 tsps Sugar

Method: Chop the lime and muddle in the bottom of a glass along with the blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and sugar then top with crushed ice, pour in the rum and churn to mix. 

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