Puffing Billy Steam Vodka | Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Puffing Billy Steam Vodka

From the team at The Borders Distillery comes Puffing Billy Steam Vodka - an unfiltered malted barley vodka, named after their specially-commissioned Carterhead still in which it is made. The Borders Distillery opened in March 2018 and is the first Scotch whisky distillery in the area since 1837. Their method of production of their vodka is completely unique, with the vapours steamed through charcoal inside the still rather than filtered, which the team believe would strip out some of the character which they meticulously strive to preserve in its entirety. They use this same technique to produce their Kerr's Borders Gin.

Vodka isn't the first thing that tends to spring to our mind when we fancy a tipple and as such it's pretty underrepresented in our spirits collection. Nonetheless, it's one of those drinks that whenever we have one it's something we really enjoy, and Puffing Billy definitely fits this theme.



Suggested serves


The recommended "neat" serve of this is called "The Steampunk" - served from the freezer, in a chilled shot glass with a crack of black pepper and a cornichon pickle. We didn't have cornichons, so went for a sliced burger gherkin, but we reckon it was just as good! Incredibly smooth, well rounded on the palate and takes the sharpness of the pickle with ease. Lovely warmth and creaminess which is lifted by the light acidity of the garnish. Laura picked up on a bit of a bubblegum character too (from the vodka, not the gherkin, just for clarity). A sipper, not a shotter!


We also tried Puffing Billy in one of the recommended cocktails, "Billy's Mojo"- effectively a mojito with the rum replaced by vodka. Lime juice and brown sugar were muddled with mint leaves freshly plucked from our garden, before ice, vodka and soda were added to the glass. A thirst quenching and refreshing long drink, perfect for a sunny afternoon.

The Borders Distillery team also recommend drinking Puffing Billy in a "Borders Mule" with cloudy apple juice, lime and ginger beer, which we can fully imagine would taste delicious. Sadly not all ingredients we could easily come by on our lockdown-appropriate trip to the local supermarket, but something we'd be keen to try in future!

We also reckon it'd be fantastic with sharper fruit flavours, perhaps in a gooseberry martini - definitely a versatile spirit that would be a good addition to any mixologist's drinks cabinet.



Cheers,

Laura & Jim

Disclaimer: We were invited to give this unique spirit a try by Steve at The Whisky Wire and were sent a sample for review. This has not affected our feedback - this post represents our genuine, honest opinions.

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