Quality vodkas are increasingly too noteworthy to be guzzled down with mixers. Still, many brands have made it their mission to create the most innocuous vodka possible to comprise basic cocktails. As it is often tasteless, colourless and odourless, vodka is just that: Alcohol that doesn’t really taste like alcohol. But Moshe David wants to change that. He is adamant on making super-premium vodka to be savoured and appreciated on its own.
The Finnish diamond jeweller turned vodka producer founded Laplandia to contend with existing market leaders such as Belvedere, which calls itself “the world’s first super premium vodka” and Grey Goose, “the world’s best tasting vodka”.
Laplandia, on the other hand, banks on its purity. It uses naturally filtered groundwater that comes from beneath Lake Hirsijärvi in Lapland, the northern most region of Finland.
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Moshe David says, “Vodka generally contains 60 percent water. We do not treat the water as it is a crucial ingredient and will greatly affect the quality. The groundwater at our disposal is unique in its cleanliness and softness and its natural purification processes cannot be synthetically copied.”
Vodka’s super-premium factor, however, hones in on its distillation process. Brands often talk about how many times its products’ been distilled. “The more times vodka is distilled, the better it is,” they’d say. Well, Moshe David doesn’t believe the hype. “They will say that they distilled the materials 20 or 100 times. But if the raw materials used are not of good quality, if they are not completely natural, the vodka will never be good,” he asserts.
The clean taste of Lake Hirsijärvi together with the seven-times-distilled GMO-free wheat spirit has resulted in undoubted smoothness and wheaty sweetness, proven through the bagging of multiple international tasting awards. Laplandia’s flavoured vodka — such as its espresso, lingonberry and cloudberry vodka — is also produced with natural ingredients.
To top its grandeur, each frosted bottle of Laplandia is not only inherently Scandinavian in style but comes decorated with certified 24k gold spots.
We talk to Moshe David, the CEO and founder of Laplandia Vodka, about his reconnaissance of the spirits world.
As a jeweller, what got you interested in the business of spirits?
I happened to have a few customers that came from the drinks industry and introduced me to their business. Then one day, I travelled to the north of Finland and was fascinated by the purity of the nature there and thought to myself, how this could be utilised. Then I just connected the two.
Why vodka specifically?
Vodka specifically because it seemed at the time like the segment that required the least previous experience and was something that could be initiated immediately, as opposed to whisky, for example.
How has your experience as a jeweller shaped you in this role as the creator of a spirit?
Honestly not so much. Maybe the only similar thing is the selling part, which focuses on the story and the fact that quality matters. Dealing internationally and having a sense of global distribution was of course an advantage.
Has your experience with sparkly things propelled you to decorate the Laplandia’s French bottles with 24k gold?
The 24k gold on the bottles is a tribute to my past, yes. And yes, that is also where the idea originally came from.
What is the brand’s identity and vision?
Lapland is a globally known region and Europe’s last great wilderness which is associated with all that is pure, clean and natural. And those things are also the essence and identity of the brand today.
How important is the Asian market for Laplandia?
Extremely important. The Asian markets where we are selling our products at the moment are Hong Kong, Singapore, and China. We are also sending a few to Vietnam and Malaysia.
I am a believer. I know that we have plans that we are working on at the moment, but the power will lead us at the end of the day to wherever it goes. If I were to focus on the Vietnam market or the Singapore market and tomorrow morning I were to wake up and get better contacts from somewhere else, I will head there.
When we came down to exhibit at Food&HotelAsia2016, our distributor visited the show and that was our entry into the Asian Market. We started importing in 2016. We’ve also already started our promotion of Laplandia through the F1. The official launch of Laplandia happened on Finland’s 100th birthday, December 6, 2017, at Gardens by the Bay. We hope to be the pioneer brand in building a thirst for luxury vodka in Singapore through e-commerce platforms and tradeshows such as ProWine Asia.
We will be launching our Cloudberry and Bilberry flavours at the exhibition this coming April, where distinguished brands from all over the world and the best in the spirits industry will come together to showcase their latest products. Hence, this will be a good chance for us to make vodka top the list of spirits in demand.
What is your favourite way to consume vodka?
When you are in the mood for coffee, or want a drink as a dessert, I will definitely recommend a shot of our Espresso Vodka. Also, I love food in Singapore as it mixes the different cultures available here. If I were to have a seafood dinner, it will fit perfectly with the Cloudberry Vodka.
Is there any Finnish vodka-drinking traditions?
Drink until you can’t anymore.
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