I’m so excited to introduce my new series for the blog called Currently On The Rocks! In it, I wanted to feature a new drink you may not have heard about. In the first of its kind, I sat down with the Our/Vodka team. They just started Our/Los Angeles and partners Anton van der Woude and Rupert Runeswitch are here to tell you all about it. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, be sure to grab a bottle or check out their distillery downtown!
How did you decide to add Los Angeles to Our/Vodka?
All cities are selected because they are trendsetting and forward-thinking. LA is one of the most creative cities in the world with one in every six jobs being a creative position. The chosen cities are also naturally major destinations or industry hubs because we want travelers to be able to recognize the brand but be able to drink locally under a trusted name. For instance, they can recognize that iconic small little bottle and our distinct branding but drink with local relevance in every city since each Our/Vodka brand contains local ingredients and is distilled on site in the city. Our/Los Angeles is about a celebration of the city and the short trip space, given all the wonderful surrounding landscapes that Socal has to offer.
What makes it different than other vodkas?
There are two really unique things about this product. The first is that for the first time ever in the history of the spirits industry a brand has both a global and local identity. Traditionally, alcohol brands are either craft and operating out of a micro-distillery or mass produced before being shipped around the world. Our/Los Angeles is different in the sense that we have both a local and national identity at the same time. We operate under the OUR/Vodka family of 6 distilleries worldwide, but each city is run independently as its own brand with their own micro-distillery, that distills conforming to the same global recipe but using locally sourced ingredients. This means people can resonate with the brand around the world but drink locally in each city.
Although the bottles all look the same, each city has local characteristics that differentiate it from other cities in terms of flavor profiling and brand positioning. For example, the Londoners have positioned their brand as “vodka for wine people,” whereas OUR/Los Angeles is more about a celebration of the all that is iconic to this city and the LA lifestyle, and taking advantage of all there is to do here in Southern California.
The second particularly unique thing about the vodka is the yeast. We ferment a Non-GMO strain of yeast that is traditionally used in winemaking. It is incredibly sensitive and is exclusive to Our/Vodka. When this yeast is fermented it releases specific fruity and flowery aromatic molecules which are what give Our/Los Angeles its unique flavor. The double wheat blend is what makes the vodka so smooth.
How did you find the distillery in Los Angeles?
That’s totally up to the entrepreneurs! Our/Los Angeles is based in the Arts District in DTLA. We chose this location because the Arts District is fast becoming the creative hub of the city. DTLA, in general, is the fastest growing area within the city regarding hospitality, new businesses are popping up every week. We are all about community and collaborating with other like-minded brands so it was necessary to be at the heart of this growth. The new members-only SoHo House is actually being built directly across the street! Downtown is also a fairly central location. It’s the major hub when traveling to places like Long Beach, Pasadena and of course going anywhere east or west of downtown.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of making your vodka?
For starters, we only bottle in 375ml bottles and the vodka is made in the state-of-the-art distillery located in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. We have the capacity to produce 40,000 9-Litre cases per year. It takes us about 2 days to create a batch of vodka. We distill our raw wheat distillate and then we blend with a different strain of organic wheat, bottle and label. It’s all done onsite in the distillery. We have one girl who runs the whole operation and she’s amazing. Creating vodka truly is a science and our equipment was custom made for our unique ingredients and streamlines this process.
Who’s your target demo for the vodka?
Our target demographic is Angelenos 25-40 who take full advantage of what the city has to offer. This includes the beachgoers who spend their weekends with friends down in Venice or Santa Monica to the more adventurous types who might load up the RV every couple of weeks and head out to Joshua Tree or Big Sur. Our marketing campaign, #TakeMeWithYou, focuses on the short trip space and being synonymous with it. The LA and California lifestyle is all about enjoying the mountains, beaches, the desert that surrounds us. Our little bottle lends itself to portability, Our/Los Angeles is the perfect beverage to take with you on your weekend excursions and outings since it’s compact, delicious and encompasses everything the city has to offer. Also, our vodka has a resealable cap so you can literally take it with you without ever worrying about wasting or spilling any vodka!
Why should someone order Our/Los Angeles at a bar over all the other options?
Our/Los Angeles is truly a celebration of the city and the love for it we all share. Not only is it made locally with the highest quality ingredients possible, but moreover it is probably the best vodka you will ever taste. I am of course bias but I am serious – The double wheat blend makes the vodka incredibly smooth and soft on the front end, and then our unique yeast gives a natural sweetness with citrus and flowery aromatic notes on the back end. They’re also helping to support their local community since Our/Los Angeles (and all other Our/Vodka brands) employ local entrepreneurs.
We’re heading into Fall, what’s an ideal cocktail we can make with Our/LA?
Our signature cocktail is the espresso martini. It’s bold and flavorful and perfect for fall. It doesn’t really get cold here in LA, but it’s perfect for those chilly nights. On the hot days though, we have a full cocktail list on our website. Might we recommend the Black Dahlia?!