Click through to view Reyka Icelandic Bitters

Click through to view Reyka Icelandic Bitters

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William Grant & Sons' Reyka Icelandic Bitters

Category - Bitters, 40% abv

Available - From this week

Location - UK, London, on-trade

Price - Free to bartenders

Distribution - First Drinks

William Grant & Sons has launched a limited number of aromatic bitters for its Reyka Icelandic vodka brand into the UK on-trade.

Only 300 bottles of Reyka Icelandic Bitters will be handed out by William Grant's UK distributor, First Drinks. They will be available for free to London-based bartenders to encourage them to create new cocktails using Reyka vodka.

The bitters, developed by master blender Lesley Gracie, use botanicals including Icelandic moss, angelica leaf and crowberry.

At a launch event in London last night, Reyka's UK brand manager, Jonathan Cornthwaite, told just-drinks that the vodka's marketing centres on bartenders as they are a gateway to consumers in premium spirits.

“We're a really tiny brand in a market place dominated by huge brands, so we have to keep talking to bartenders,” Cornthwaite said. “We're not investing millions of pounds in massive above-the-line campaigns or signing massive pouring contracts.”

He also said the brand has learned from William Grant stablemate Hendricks Gin. “If you engage the trade early, as Hendricks did ten years ago, and spend a huge amount of time with bartenders then they'll give you the support in return.”

Cornthwaite said the company will produce more Reyka Icelandic Bitters if there is demand for them. 

To read Cornthwaite's views on blurred lines in the UK premium spirits market, and for more info on Reyka voda, click here.

Show the press release

Living on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Icelanders come from a tradition of self-sufficiency and making many things by hand, infusing nature and their own unique perspective in virtually everything they do. 

From the resourceful use of lava rock and arctic spring water to being the only vodka in the world that uses a Carter-Head still in distillation, Reyka Vodka is able to bring you the essence of Iceland by producing a smooth-tasting vodka unlike any other. Reyka has now taken this originality one step further.

After the success of the bitters made in collaboration with Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters Company, the inventive minds at Reyka Vodka have been inspired to create a new recipe for the launch of their handcrafted Icelandic Reyka Bitters.

Master Distiller Lesley Gracie created the limited edition bottling of Icelandic Reyka Bitters, from botanicals sourced in Iceland. Foraging and nosing her way through some of Iceland’s purest and most precious resources, Gracie selected some of the country’s best naturally growing ingredients.

Icelandic moss, angelica leaf and crowberry juice create the heart of the Icelandic Reyka Bitters’ flavour, bringing with them a dash of its inventive spirit in every drop. Only a limited 300 bottles are available to the UK, exclusive to the on-trade. 

Alongside the new launch, an initial group of bartenders were able to explore their own inventive spirit during a foraging expedition with Reyka’s brand ambassador Joe Petch and make their own bitters. With future foraging expeditions planned, Reyka hopes to continue to inspire bartenders to use their ingenuity to create new and exciting serves. 

Speaking about her inspiration to make Icelandic Bitters, Lesley Gracie says “Icelanders are incredibly resourceful; It’s part of their everyday life. It’s a quality shared by many bartenders who are also inherently creative souls. We wanted to celebrate this shared trait and I believe we have come up with something that inspires them to unleash their imagination in a new way”. 

Original source: Company Release