What is The Green Mark?
Between the 1920s and the late 1950s, all official production and sales of vodka in Russia were regulated for quality by the Glavspirttrest; so vigorous were the standards of this body, that its seal of excellence (“The Green Mark”) became synonymous with quality spirits.
By the end of the 20th Century and the break up of the USSR, Glavspirttrest and its Green Mark had largely been forgotten; until 1998, when the Russian Alcohol Group wanted to resurrect a vodka with those same high standards. After extensive research in the records office and by people who recalled the old vodka, they created Green Mark Vodka.
In order to produce a faithful recreation of a vodka worthy of the Green Mark, Russian Alcohol Group didn’t want to make any alterations to the wheat, water, yeast or distillation process used to make vodka over 50 years ago. Therefore, the wheat that is used comes from the Moldavia 76 variety, which is renowned for its purity and grows naturally in the Volga region of Central Russia. As most yeast for spirit production is made in a laboratory (not the way it was back in the 1940s), naturally grown yeast had to be specially sourced from a small, family company that is over 70 years old. Finally, the water used for the vodka comes from an ancient aquifer; the age and softness of the water is thought to be conducive to making a good vodka. After distillation, the spirit is then filtered through silver.
Today, Green Mark Vodka is the number-one vodka brand in Russia and the fourth largest spirit internationally, with around 10 million 9 litre cases being shipped worldwide each year.
Neat (at room temperature)
Soft, with a bready sweetness and some warmth at the end. Very flavourful, but still quite smooth.
Silky smooth, with a great viscosity and a slight, oily sweetness. This is a great vodka to serve straight from the freezer.
Clean and crisp, with a little wheat and a slight creaminess. This was a tasty Martini that was smooth, yet flavourful. I found that a twist of lemon peel worked well as a garnish.
Green Mark Vodka will soon be available for around £14 for 70cl from supermarkets such as Waitrose, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda, as well as Nisa, Costcutter and Co-op Convenience Stores.
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