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Audécious Vodka, Ordre Mondial

Today we were at The Watson for the latest Ordre Mondial tasting, as a part of the Vancouver chapter of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. This is a sub-group within the international gourmand organization whose mission is to advance the enjoyment, appreciation and knowledge of fine wines, spirits, beers and crafted beverages from around the world. OM events are typically casual, small group experiences that focus on tasting and learning about the beverage in question.

And today that would be Audécious Vodka, the only vodka classified as USDA organic in Vancouver. You most likely haven’t heard of it, as it has yet to launch in market. But this locally produced, 3 times distilled, organic vodka is already a Platinum Award winner at a global spirits competition. They rushed the packaging to be able to compete this year, and it looks like it was well worth their efforts.

The label speaks to Whistler’s topography, which is a nod to their origin story. A group of four friends often headed up to the local resort mountain to snowboard, and would bring spirits up with them, to add a warming buzz to the experience. They wanted to make a vodka that they could drink as is and enjoy together; and they have done just that. They were inspired by all the bad vodkas, wanting to do better, sweetening theirs with sugar cane.

Vancouverites can expect to see Audécious Vodka at BC liquor stores and local liquor stores in the near future. Although with packaging that is more inline with their original conception. Once again the bottle pictured here was a rush job, just to get them into production. The original vision was a vessel that resembles Vancouver’s 2010 winter Olympic torch, which would also flow better with the Whistler connection. Making it quite the collector’s item and souvenir piece for those visiting the city.

After that, their goal is to have their vodka featured in a ready-to-drink canned cocktail, followed by a gin offering; which tends to be the natural progression. Also in the works is an organic sparkling wine, as well as a local tasting room to showcase all of the above.

As for the today’s event itself, this was a fun, casual, and collegial afternoon. Held at The Watson’s second floor private mezzanine, overlooking the rest of the cocktail bar. Here, we were gathered at individual tables with friends, and drank and ate like we would any any other outing, except with our medals on.

We would enjoy Audécious Vodka neat and in an assortment of creative cocktails with equally delicious food pairings. In hindsight, I would have liked to try the spirit of the hour as is first, to get a feel of it in the cocktails below. But a shot would eventually come as pairing for the 4th course.

The first cocktail was Audécious Vodka, Amer Picon, honey, citrus, and Pol Remy.

A twist on a French 75 with citrusy lemon that matches the orange notes in the spirit and the first course. A sweeter start to parallel the fruit below. This was an excellent pairing.

Scallop Crudo with green tapenade, confit orange, garlic and fennel.

This was a sweet milky scallop, sliced thin to really enjoy its lush texture. The dish as a whole had an accumulation of variety from the mint, sweet orange, and the roasted salty sesame.

The theme of our second course and pairing was botanical mineralogy. The cocktail was a mix of Audéious Vodka, Suze, Don Benedictine, sauvignon blanc, and lime leaf.

It starts as warm honey in the mouth and gives you a bit of herbal fragrance to simmer on. The pickled blueberries were especially memorable as the strong and sharp tang caught us all off guard, offering a palate reset.

For our food pairing we had a Watermelon Salad with watercress, goat cheese, and basil. What appeared to be a simple salad was well crafted.

Each element needed for an even flavour. Peppery greens, salty cheese, sweet watermelon, and a hit of spicy cumin. At some bites the course salt did overwhelm.

Course 3 was about vegetal flavours featuring the bar’s take on a negroni.

Audécious Vodka, Cynar, Salal Gin, and celery bitters. A dry cocktail with hints of acidity to help cut into the dish below.

Paired with Pork belly, apple sauce, and pickles.

This was melty and fatty morsels of gristle, tough meat, and crispy skin. Classically married with a thick apple sauce that was not too sweet. The pickled cauliflower was the wild card, necessary for a breath of acidity.

The fourth course is where we actually got to try Audécious Vodka straight and honestly it is as smooth as they advertise. The most sip-able vodka I have ever had and one that I will purchase for my home bar, as well as recommend to others.

I liked it as is, but we also experimented by adding drops of Chili Oil and Squid Ink into the vodka over a Watson branded king cube. Like oil and water, the two didn’t mix and you could clearly make out the flavour separated. It matched the flavours of the dish pairing below, especially the balsamic.

Potato Pavé, Crème Fraîche, and Balsamic Pearls. This was a great visual display.

Thin layers of crispy potato stacked for a scallop potato-like experience, but elevated with the seasonings. This was best chasing the drink.

And our dessert course was cheese, a nod from the French partner/owner and bar manager of The Watson; who made a joke of it.

Whipped Burrata, Prosciutto, and House Focaccia. Delicious and elegant on its own, but not with the intended cocktail. I just don’t see the drinking together. At most, a reach of chocolate notes in the beverage with the salty ham.

Audécious Vodka, Frangelico, 10yr Tawney Port, Saline, and Chocolate Bitters. This drank like a dessert, and would be better classified as the dessert for this entire experience. The scent of chocolate on the nose and in the mouth.

In conclusion, this was a wonderful experience and a great casual way to learn about a local spirit brand worth checking out. And this is one of the many reasons I have joined Ordre Mondial, as I too share this passion for spirits.

The Watson
3080 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3G5
(604) 559-5266
thewatson.ca

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