A Bloody Good Vodka! Karlsson’s Gold, Sweden

Karlsson's Gold

My Friday evening wine and cheese teaching gig  at Vino Versity comes with a great perk, The Spiritual Experience. Held every week it showcases different craft spirits with recipes, tips and free sips. At a recent Friday evening tasting I had the pleasure to sample Karlsson’s Gold, a hand crafted vodka developed by Swedish master blender Borje Karlsson. Admittedly not a huge fan of vodka I was happy to find this one delightfully different!

Blend of 7 varieties of virgin Swedish potatoes
Made from a special blend of 7 different types of thin-skinned Swedish virgin potatoes in South West Sweden’s Cape Bjare this vodka speaks of the flavors of the region with a rich, slightly unctuous mouthfeel and earthy buttery flavors. Taking close to 17 lbs of these special potatoes known regionally as “farmers gold” to craft every bottle, each drop contains a burst of savory, creaminess.  In order to preserve this unusual flavor profile it is distilled only once and unfiltered. The aroma is also very different, unlike most fairly neutral nosed vodkas I got a bit of unsweetened bakers cocoa and citrus notes.

Karlsson’s recommends serving straight over ice or adding a bit of fresh cracked pepper on ice for a Black Gold, their signature suggestion. I liked it both ways but couldn’t help trying it in two of my favorite eye openers, the Bloody Mary and the Bull Shot. Both recipes offered up below turned out great using Karlsson’s as my vodka of choice. It added an additional layer of flavor not present if using other vodka, a perfect choice for each recipe!

My major bitch with most bloody mary’s are the melting ice cubes leaching water into the blend, it changes the taste and texture of the cocktail. To avoid this I build and blend mine in a shaker and then strain into a chilled glass.

Karlsson’s Bloody Mary

Karlsson's Bloody Mary
2 oz Karlsson’s Gold
4 oz Tomato juice
2 dashes hot sauce, I like Frank’s Red Hot
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fresh grated horseradish
mixture of  1 tbsp celery salt, a few twists of fresh ground pepper and a few pinches of old bay seasoning to rim glass
Build all ingredients in large shaker, stir well, add ice, stir well again, strain into chilled up glass that has been rimmed with fresh lemon and dipped into celery salt mixture. I like to garnish with chilled shrimp cocktail, pickled green beans, celery or olives. You can add your own twist with different veggies.
Bull Shots for Everyone!

This is a really tasty version of one of my favorite cocktails, The Bull Shot! Karlsson’s adds extra depth of flavor to this already hardy beverage.

 1 1/2 oz Karlsson’s Vodka
 3 oz good quality beef broth
 squeeze fresh lemon juice
 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
 2 twists fresh ground pepper
 orange peel for garnish
This can be served either hot or cold. For cold build all ingredients in shaker over ice, strain into white wine glass and garnish with orange peel. For warm add broth, pepper, lemon and Worcestershire in small sauce pan and heat till just simmering. Add vodka and pour into heat proof mug, garnish with orange peel. Enjoy!
I hope you like my versions of these classic cocktails. Feel free to send me your comments and feedback. Have a great holiday season!

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