The Ottoman – Veld tulip vodka
Bit of a long story this one so if you’re just here for the recipe scrolly on down to the end. A little while ago I was put in touch with a couple of local – or should that be loco – guys who had a new product on the market and were looking to weaponize it in some cocktails. Veld tulip vodka. Yeah, I know. At first that’s what I was thinking too. I don’t even do vodka. It has no taste. It brings nothing to a cocktail. Fortunately my contact insisted that I actually try this stuff before I climbed up on my high horse. Just as well. It turned out Marcel and Wouter were top guys who were just crazy enough to come up with such a strange concept while still having the smarts to turn it into a well polished premium product. I hesitate to call it a vodka as it’s really in a class of it’s own – I tend to treat it more like a gin, although it’s clearly not that either. Distilled from rather special organic tulip bulbs the Veld (that’s Dutch for field – pronounced “felled” btw) is then infused with some other ingredients that give it gentle bittersweet floral notes. I was told what those additions are but I’m not certain if they’re a trade secret or not so I’m keeping it zipped for now. It’s surprisingly smooth for its 41%ABV and while definitely sippable I think it really shines as a base for classic style cocktails. I came at it from the gin substitute angle and, while it sometimes crashed and burned, more often it soared, taking a classic recipe off at an interesting tangent. I came up with about five recipes but the one that got the boys really excited was The Ottoman (my recipe – their name) which has a certain oriental quality to it – which works out quite nicely since tulips are originally from Turkey. The other key ingredient in The Ottoman is Amaro Montenegro, one of my absolute favorite amari, which has an amazing synergy with the Veld. The addition of just a splash of dry vermouth pulls the slight sweetness of the other two back into balance. The lemon peel is essential to the drink, the tart oils of which are just enough to allow the combination to sparkle. This is a drink that looks particularly elegant is some vintage glassware if you have some. Don’t try to make The Ottoman with regular vodka – we did and it sucked – but if you can’t get your hands on some Veld you could try it with gin – particularly a piney one like Gordon’s.
Last weekend yours truly and Mrs Proof popped round to the Veld launch party – a characteristically underground affair – and watched the quaffing of my recipes (The Ottoman and Dr. Tulp) with a certain satisfaction. We may have tried one or two ourselves. To be honest we can’t remember.
The other recipes I created for Veld can be found on their website but below I give you the recipe for The Ottoman converted into both English and fluid Ounces. Maybe we’ll return to the others in the future.
1.5oz Veld tulip vodka
0.75oz Amaro Montenegro
0.5oz dry vermouth (eg. Dolin, Noilly Prat)
Stir with ice.
Strain into a chilled glass. Wipe the rim with a fresh lemon peel and garnish with the same.
Toast Marcel and Wouter – we need their kind of smart craziness in the cocktail world.
Full disclosure: While I’ve worked with Veld/Liquid Field the above are my honest opinions. No money was offered or accepted in exchange for publishing this review.
If you are interested in having bespoke recipes created for your product please feel free to get in touch with me via the contact page.