What comes to your mind when you think about vodka? I’ll bet it’s Russia, Gorbatschow and, well, a monstrous hangover (or at least a slightly annoying headache).
For me, it was such a pleasant surprise to have affordable Russian vodka here in Berlin. I mean, compared to the ones we have in Brazil, even Berlin’s bad vodka is pretty good (which is why “monstrous hangover” came to mind before anything else).
These days, I put my teen spirits aside and opt for the good stuff. That’s how I came to know Abyme vodka.
The name is already incredibly “Berlin.” The “mise en abyme” concept consists of the phenomenon of two mirrors reflecting objects infinitely, replicating them indefinitely.
Of this, one of Abyme founders, Carsten Baade, says: “Imagine the Saturday opening hours of bars, people drinking, cigarettes are lit, drums beating, people having another drink, bartenders getting tips, people are going out – and then next week it starts all over again. They love what they do and they just go on doing it. That’s our weekly mise en abyme.”
Carsten and his partner Jonas Westphal, both nightlife lovers, felt that the party scene lacked an alternative Berlin vodka. That’s how their mission began one year ago, when they started to produce high quality vodka.
“The vodka is made with the highest production standards: pure wheat base, three times distilled, five times filtered (a combination which is hard to find when talking about ‘standard’ vodka labels). All that makes it very smooth, a tiny little bit sweet, but neutral enough for mixing. We like to call it an all rounder – pure or for cocktails.”
The duo placed all their bets in the quality of their vodka. Rather than investing tons of money in advertising and branding, they wanted to let their product speak for itself.
“People (owners, consumers, etc.) like the idea of having a high-end local brand instead of getting a better price for mid-quality stuff from the other side of the planet.”
Shops like Studio Oppermann and Markthalle Neun (Kreuzberg), Tante Frizzante (Neukölln) or Getränke Feinkost (Friedrichshain) are the ones in which you can already find Abyme vodka.
Carsten said they’re working further to demystify this “inferior” image vodka has when compared to other spirits, like gin or whiskey.
“In terms of process, it’s easy to make, but difficult to make very good. And it’s expensive to make it very good. People are used to having/making cheap vodka, 2 filter, 37,5%, etc. We want to break this stereotype, because vodka can be very tasty and used for several drinks. And there is no need to accept these ‘getting wasted’ images. Our style is associated with art and urbanism. It’s another level.”
To celebrate this first year of success, Abyme is hosting a party at Farbferseher tonight. See you there!