This is a flavoured vodka which is quite unparalleled in the world of spirits, possessing a flavour that is incredibly unusual and intensely perfumed. The Feijoa is a South American fruit, with flesh that is pungent and tart, perhaps most similar in texture to a guava or pear, though any comparisons tend to be redundant in the context of such an unusual fruit. In New Zealand it is a ‘backyard icon’ where most homes have a feijoa tree, and the fruit is a staple of the childhood diet every autumn.
The process begins with unadorned 42 BELOW vodka, which is then distilled once more, this time washing over what might imaginatively be titled an ‘essence’, a paste of Feijoa pulp, which quickly transfers its pungent perfume into the spirit, which then cools and is bottled.
The nose is intense and unmistakable, with a powerful scent of Feijoa, and undertones of jasmine. In the mouth, the initial sensation is one of heat, though this owes more to the intense, tart bite of Feijoa, than to an unwelcome note of alcohol. There is also a sensation of the gritty flesh of the fruit itself, even though the vodka is unmistakably clear and pure. The finish is quite spectacular; a lingering, haunting hint of Feijoa long after the vodka itself has gone. Obviously, such a distinctive flavour can pose a challenge at the bar, and 42 BELOW Feijoa is best served with mixers that match its tart bite. Limes, kiwifruit, and sour apple schnapps are three such examples, though light flavours such as true lemonades, apple juices and ginger beer are equally fantastic. 42% Alc.Vol.
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