Taste Test - Mother of Pearl Vodka
If you thought vodka was a flavourless odourless spirit that’s added to cocktails just to make them stronger, get ready for Aussie craft spirit Mother of Pearl Vodka to flip your world like a two-up coin.
As we see vodka once again coming into its own, the quality of this famously clear, potent spirit has never been higher.
To stand out in the crowd is getting harder as a result, but Nic and Nicola Thompson-Hancock have done so. The founder-distillers at Mother of Pearl Vodka took home a host of awards including two silver medals at the first International Wine & Spirits Competition and London Spirits Comp they entered.
They’ve since honed their brand even further, being favourites of airlines, airports and hotels around the world.
Here in Australia, Mother of Pearl Vodka is very much on the ascension.
About Mother Of Pearl Distillery
Coming from very different backgrounds has been a huge advantage to founders of Mother of Pearl Vodka Nic Hancock and Nicola Thompson-Hancock.
Nic worked his way through the hotel industry up to general management while Nicola did her time in the world of high fashion, working with names like Collette Dinnigan, Rachel Gilbert and We Are Kindred.
They also opened venues like Banksii, Sydney’s first vermouth bar in Barangaroo.
It’s clear how hospitality, fashion and marketing work their magic on this brand that’s inspired by the beauty of nature and the coastline of the Southern Ocean close to their home.
About The Bottle
Tall and elegant, the bottle the Thompson-Hancocks have designed is made to stand up against the heavy hitters of the vodka world—the Grey Gooses, the Cîrocs—while still giving an authentic craft vibe.
Aware that they have a beautiful bottle design, Mother of Pearl have also included an easy-remove perforation to the decal label so, once empty, the bottle can be reused.
They’ve also designed a new more environmental packaging for their vodka: a cardboard skin (which doesn’t look like cardboard at all) and a recyclable bladder inside. The benefit to this is there’s going to be much fewer breakage issues and it’ll be lighter—great for freight and perfect for inflight bars.
Spirit And Still
Mother of Pearl Vodka is made with a grape-based spirit—late harvest Pinot Gris grapes to be exact. These grapes the Thompson-Hancocks have chosen to give more body, flavour and texture to their vodka.
They also source these grapes from vineyards in the beautiful Mornington Peninsula and the Limestone Coast around South Australia.
To add to the complexity and smoothness of their vodka, which is distilled in Elaine the 1000l copper still, they filter it through coconut husk and charcoal.
On the nose, there’s clearly sweet caramel, citrus and hints of polish.
The first sip gives further richness and sweetness with plenty of those flavours you expect from late-harvest wine grapes—juicy raisins, salted caramel and slightly vegetal notes.
This vodka has a silky texture from beginning to end and is smooth with almost no alcohol burn when you taste it neat.
The medium-length finish sticks around longer than you’d expect from a vodka, with a satisfying coating on your tongue and mouth reminding you of what the next sip will taste like.
Nicola swears by Mother of Pearl Vodka in a dirty martini and she’s not wrong. But I think this vodka works even better in a clean martini—very dry—with a lemon peal twist.
Of course, any number of cocktails asking for vodka, aquavit or eau de vie (or even a mild gin) will suit this vodka perfectly.
It’s very much worth trying Mother of Pearl Vodka neat and room temperature first though to really catch all those delicious nuances Nic and Nicola have worked so hard to instil here.