The Algarve is a wonderful melting pot of nationalities and very often a new-found home for free spirits from all over the globe. This motto can easily be extended to both the latest super premium vodka to be launched on the market, VOLCANIC, and its front man in Portugal, Arni Elliot.
Inside magazine met up with Ferragudo resident and Icelander Arni, to discover the connection between the two.
“In 2010 my partners were brainstorming for a name. They wanted it to be something powerful, something very ‘Icelandic’, and had been toying with the idea of using something to do with volcanoes, but weren’t completely convinced. It was then that Eyjafjallökull famously began to erupt and became a huge, worldwide event, reaching and affecting millions of people overseas, despite being a relatively small eruption. With the eruption, the deal was sealed. It reflected just what we wanted to do: we are small but want to go far! It seemed only right to honour our country and the enormous power of its nature by naming the brand Volcanic,” Arni explains.
“The company was distilling and producing spirits and coolers for the Icelandic market when, in 2013, I joined them and we began experimenting with new, high-quality materials, a new image and a foot in the southern European market, where I’ve been living for some time,” Arni adds.
This vodka is truly an international product. The grains come from the Champagne region, in France. The spirit is distilled in Iceland, and packaged in a designer bottle, from France again, before being sealed with a high-quality wooden bottle top, from Italy. “We wanted to use cork stoppers to add a little bit of Portugal into the blend, but during the testing process, we found that cork and pure vodka were not compatible as the cork can taint the colour and taste, which obviously wouldn’t work out. It’s a shame, but the Italian wooden option is incredibly stylish and was the sensible choice,” Arni continues, adding, “The branding has been a lot of fun, thanks to the creative input of fantastic Scottish artist, Beau McClellan.” Beau is famous for his spectacular light installations. With his passion for lighting design, Arni tells us how, “the glass that we chose was a perfect background for Beau to work with, as it absorbs light, and obviously vodka is a clear spirit, so the bottle quickly adapts to its surroundings, which has a really dramatic effect on the shelf”.
VOLCANIC is to vodka what Remy Martin XO is to cognac and Icelandic water is considered to be amongst the best and purest in the world. Compare the qualities associated with Scotch whisky, which are due to the water and you’ll soon get the picture.
Arni has been busy discussing events with luxury resorts all along the Algarve. The response has been amazingly warm and positive with some of the big players already on board and local distributers Wine Emotions, from Parchal, signed up to take care of things. We can see a very bright future for this icy cool, cosmopolitan newcomer, emerging onto the premium market with the ultra smooth, VOLCANIC VODKA following three years of development. The vodka is now ready to launch, with the first bottles already being sampled and considered for bar lists in some of the top resorts along the coast.
40% proof, with a warm, smooth finish, this vodka is best served super chilled and neat. Volcanic Vodka is distilled seven times and filtered through rock and lava in the distillery in Reykjavik, Iceland by a young, independent team, with its driving force in Ferragudo. We wish them every success.



Author: Inside Carvoeiro

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