The first question, of course, is who is Tom of Finland? Well, according to Wikipedia:
Touko Valio Laaksonen (8 May 1920 – 7 November 1991), best known by his pseudonym Tom of Finland, was a Finnish artist known for his stylized highly masculinized homoerotic fetish art, and his influence on late twentieth century gay culture.
Right, well that explains the bottle, which shows one of Tom of Finland’s drawings. It’s impressive work, photographic-like in its detail. I’d never come across the artist before, and it’s beautifully done. To me it looks like someone resembling what Freddie Mercury might have looked like if he’d joined Village People, though Tom of Finland is someone who influenced this kind of look.
The guy on the bottle is a handsome guy and it’s a handsome bottle too, solid and square, designed to be masculine, though only containing 50cl. I’ll forgive them that, though, because of the quality of the contents. More on that in a moment.
The vodka’s organic and made using organically grown wheat, rye and pure arctic water. It’s interesting they’ve used two grains to produce the vodka, as most use only one. There’s also no added sugar.
Christmas Vodka Gift
The vodka’s being launched in the UK in time for it to make a good Christmas vodka gift. It could be a cheeky gift for your partner, or would make an excellent Secret Santa gift for your vodka-loving work colleague.
Or you could just buy it for yourself as it will look great in the drinks cabinet and no doubt be a talking point. My suggestion would be to drink it first, refill it with water, and if someone asks to sample it come up with an excuse as to why they can’t. And you’ll just have to learn how to pronounce Touko Valio Laaksonen.
But what of the vodka itself? Without a good product, all this would just be of novelty value. Thankfully, the vodka is not only good it is excellent. The makers said their aim was to reflect the character of Tom of Finland – bold, smooth, full of character and a little spicy.
This they’ve achieved. On the nose it is incredibly smooth, with just a hint of spiciness. Tasting it, though, is where the wow factor comes in. It’s deliciously smooth and rounded. It’s robust yet beautifully-rounded, like drinking silk. It seems to coat the mouth completely, with a pleasing oily feel to it, and with still those spicy hints. Swallowing, it’s still amazingly smooth, none of that harsh slightly burning feel you sometimes get. The company describes it as having a mellow finish, and I wouldn’t argue with that.
So who makes this gorgeous vodka? The distillers are Lignell & Pilspanen, who have been making vodka in Finland since 1852, which makes it the second-oldest family-run company in the country.
Tom of Finland Foundation
Some of the proceeds from every bottle sold go back to the Tom of Finland Foundation. This is “a non‐profit foundation established by Touko Laaksonen and his friend Durk Dehner in 1984 to preserve Tom of Finland’s catalogue of work and educate the public as to the cultural merits of erotic art, promoting healthier, more tolerant attitudes towards sexuality.”
Tom of Finland Cocktails
Personally I would simply sip this vodka neat, not even adding an ice-cube, so luscious was the taste. However, Tom of Finland has kindly supplied some cocktail recipes which I’d be perfectly happy to try, provided my bottle of Tom of Finland vodka wasn’t used.
This Christmas version of a Moscow Mule uses 50ml of Tom of Finland Organic Vodka in a tall glass. Fill the glass with ice, top with ginger beer, and add a squeeze of lime and a cinnamon stick.
Put 50ml of Tom of Finland Organic Vodka into a cocktail shaker. Add 25ml of cranberry juice, 25ml of orange liqueur and 10ml of lime juice. Fill with ice, shake, then strain into flutes and top with champagne. Hmm, I wonder if you could also use Cranes Cranberry Orange Liqueur?
Where to Buy Tom of Finland Organic Vodka?
You can get it at Gerry’s Wines and Spirits or at Selfridges, if you’re in London. If not then you can order it through Master of Malt or even Amazon. It’s also available at wholesalers including Venus Wine and Spirit Merchants. The recommended price is £32.50 for a 50cl bottle.