Wódka Vodka, of Poland, is a leader in the ever-so-popular quality-for-value category. Not only is its vodka winning many prestigious awards lately, Wódka Vodka remains a respected spirit for its grain-to-glass practices.
Here’s what Wódka CEO and owner of Edgewater Spirits Rich Roberts, along with partner and marketing director Daniel Undhammar, told Chilled about this high-quality vodka with a low price tag.
Talk to us a bit about Wódka. Tell us about the packaging and the name.
Rich Roberts: Wódka Vodka is modeled after a very old Polish brand that had the simple, straightforward name WÓDKA. The package was a simple, classic style of the day. In a world of frosted, fancy bottles and often-unpronounceable names, WÓDKA is easy to say and very approachable. We actually thought that the brand should remain with a handcrafted, not modern image, but needed a serious facelift. To our surprise, we could not find one consumer who agreed with us changing the label! So as they say, ”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
Talk to us about Edgewater Spirits acquiring Wódka.
Rich Roberts: Wódka was created and marketed by a company called Panache, which had other brands and a distillery in Florida. While the company failed, the brand Wódka Vodka was a success. The fund that had invested in Panache requested us to access what was worth acquiring from bankruptcy. It was agreed that the fund would purchase the brand and we would establish the new company, Edgewater Spirits, LLC, to relaunch Wódka and launch other brands we’ve created. We began in January and are now in 17 states, and we’re happy to say that the brand is performing extremely well.
Tell us about the ‘quality-for-value’ model of Wódka Vodka.
Rich Roberts: Brand positioning, image, story, etc. are always at the core of most brands—certainly the hundreds I’ve dealt with over the years—and in the many markets around the world. Thousands of hours and dollars are spent “trying” to get it right. In the case of WÓDKA, it’s as clear as it gets: the quality is so good that most who taste it say it is the best, or one of the best, they have ever tasted. When they are told the price, they tend to be shocked! Our slogan is “HONEST VODKA. HONEST PRICE.” The fact that we were just awarded the Best Vodka and Double Gold awards in the San Francisco Competition is certainly,“proof in advertising,” especially given our average retail price of $12.99 versus $30‒$40 for many of the other Double Golds! Another thing that shows the quality and value of the brand is the way that previous bar managers and bartenders who used to stock it have welcomed it back like an old friend.
The craft movement is everywhere. Talk to us about the “grain-to-glass” distilling practices used at the Polish estate where Wódka is created.
Daniel Undhammar: Wódka is one of very few Polish vodkas left today made from grain to glass, meaning from start to finish. Wódka is created with the utmost care, following centuries of making traditional Polish vodkas of excellence. Starting with our carefully selected, estate-grown Dankowski golden rye, our own pure spring water (that is also from a source within our estate), after mashing, fermentation its distilled 5 times, mellowed through a charcoal filter twice and then rested, creating an unparalleled exceptional vodka.
What other aspects make the brand stand out from other vodkas on the market today?
Daniel Undhammar: Other than being estate-grown, 100 % Polish rye, we are a very affordable, internationally awarded vodka for $12 retail. It’s exceptional quality, with a rich, full, round nose, and a long, multilayered, rich flavor and a balanced finish.
What would you like bartenders to know about Wódka?
Daniel Undhammar: It’s a favorite among bartenders for its exceptional quality and great price, making it THE vodka of choice for bartenders, bar owners, operators, cocktail slingers, and more as their preferred well or house vodka. Not compromising quality, while still keeping a phenomenal margin(s).
What are some of the best ways to enjoy Wódka?
Daniel Undhammar: Wódka should be enjoyed any way you like it! As it has such an incredible aroma, nose, full length, rich and full flavor on the palate, it can be enjoyed in many ways: neat room temperature, neat with water, chilled, on the rocks, with a twist, or in a great cocktail, from a Wódka Martini to a Gypsy Queen, Mule, Harvey Wallbanger, Bloody Mary, or even a Wódka Soda! All enjoyed responsibly.