The Vodka Guy has seen a lot of vodka bottles, but nothing quite like the one for AVIV 613 vodka. Of course it’s what’s inside that matters, and that was really impressive too, but I’ll come back to that.
The bottle is three-sided, and heavy. It tapers stylishly towards the top, but in a slightly irregular way, and one of the sides is faintly curved too. As I carefully – very carefully – turned it round in my hands, I could see that each side was different. It has intriguing symbols etched into the glass. A check on the AVIV 613 website told me there are 73 hidden messages in that bottle, visible as you hold the bottle up at different angles against the light. And why 73? Because, they say, ‘The number 73 is spiritually important because it gives the Kabbalistic value of the Hebrew word ‘chochma,’ meaning wisdom. In addition, the Star of David contains 73 numerological dots.
Yes, this is an Israeli vodka, it’s kosher, and I like vodkas with unusual stories. It uses water from the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus performed several miracles according to the Christian Bible, and the bottle is made with sand from Israel. On one side of the bottle the words ‘Celebrate Life’ appear in 21 different languages. The three sides of the bottle are for Mind, Body, and Spirit.
From 1824 to 1955 AVIV’s distillery was located in the town of Tzfat in northern Israel, one of the Four Holy Cities of Judaism, before moving to Haifa where it is now. That water from the Sea of Galilee is filtered six times, and then there are three distillations with grains and fruit, and a final distillation of the blended vodka. AVIV 613 uses both wheat and barley, as well as typical tasty and flavorful Mediterranean produce: olives, figs, dates, grapes, and pomegranates.
OK, you’re saying, but is it any good?
Because I poured it straight out of the freezer, the AVIV 613 vodka had a wonderfully thick quality, pouring slowly like olive oil rather than water. Would I detect those figs and pomegranates? Well, no, not on my first sniff. It had a clarity and purity about it.
Would I taste them, then? Again, surprisingly, no. What I did taste, though, was a definite hint of liquorice. The vodka felt creamily smooth in the mouth. I let the glass sit for a few minutes, then sniffed it again. This time I got a hint of lemon on the nose, and that liquorice again, stronger this time, on the palate. It tasted gorgeous.
As it warmed up some more, it seemed to get a slightly harsher feel on the throat, but also became richer and more complex in its flavors. Now I was tasting olives and lemons again, definitely the fresh and sunny taste of a warm, Mediterranean day. It shows how personal tasting drinks is, and also shows how wrong people are when they say all vodka tastes the same – tasteless.
I had a generous mouthful still left in my glass, so I poured a similar amount of fresh OJ into it. Wow! That was my kind of drink – simple, strong, full of flavor. It was magnificent, which suggests AVIV 613 will be just as good for mixing as for sipping neat.
Next time I’m going to try the AVIV 613 Orchard cocktail (see below), one of several fruity suggestions from their website. I’ve got limes, I’ve got Cointreau, I’ve got pomegranate juice. I’ve also got an urge to empty that AVIV 613 bottle, not just for the pleasure of drinking it but the bottle is going to be a keeper. It’s a work of art.
Try these AVIV 613 Vodka Holiday Cocktails!
THE STORY OF AVIV 613 VODKA
Here’s a link to a Vimeo video telling the story of AVIV 613 Vodka:
AVIV 613 AMBASSADORS
By the way, as the brand is new in the USA, AVIV 613 is looking for Brand Ambassadors. Check the Ambassadors page on their website to see if you’ve got what it takes: