Tusky (ˈtʌski) in Yorkshire dialect means rhubarb, and the name is synonymous with the area of Yorkshire which has for centuries been growing the finest rhubarb that is exported all over the world.
Rhubarb is thought to have originated in Russia, but in Yorkshire it has the three things that it needs to grow — cold, water, and nitrogen. The Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle is situated in a frost pocket, ideal for rhubarb cultivation, and of course we have no shortage of rain. And back in the day the woollen mills provided nitrogen in the form of “shoddy”, a mulch of waste woollen cloth or clippings, readily available and packed with nitrogen.
For Tusky Vodka we wanted to create a spirit with a link to Yorkshire, hence the use of rhubarb, here in conjunction with hints of ginger and vanilla.
Rhubarb is a notoriously difficult ingredient to use, as in its raw state it is almost tasteless. Because of this, it needs to be cooked to impart its flavour, and so we distil the rhubarb, the heat in the still being enough to release the taste.
We do the same with the ginger, and then we mix carefully balanced amounts of the pure distillates to the vodka.
Finally we add just a small amount of vanilla which helps to round off the taste of the rhubarb, the end result being a pure, smooth vodka with intriguing hints of rhubarb and ginger working together to give both sweet and sour notes.
Tusky Vodka can be drunk neat or on the rocks, but is also magnificent with an array of mixers and as a base for numerous cocktails.