Vodka good enough to appreciate on its own

If there were to be a Singapore-made vodka, we'd expect a lot from it. After all, it's hard to get right a spirit that's best known for being neutral, colourless, and at times, even tasteless.

Perhaps that's why the few distilleries that exist in Singapore all launched gins, arguably a more flavoursome spirit, as their first product. But now, the youngest distillery here, Compendium (best known for their Rojak and Chendol Gins), has become the first to launch their own commercial vodka label in Singapore.

They call it Straits Vodka, and this first locally-produced vodka is unlike most commercial labels out there. It's designed as a sipping vodka, meaning it's already good on it's own or over ice. If mixing, it fares best in a spirit-forward cocktail. So make a Vodka Martini instead of a Long Island Iced Tea out of it.

To make it palatable enough for sipping, one of the things they did was something rarely done in the industry: produce their own base distillate using honey. Vodka's base distillate is commonly made from potato or wheat, but in this case, they fermented Southeast Asian wildflower honey to get mead, before distilling that with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon (both for flavour and as a nod to Singapore's past spice trade).

In fact, it's distilled twice to achieve a greater level of harmony and complexity. It even boasts spice aromas worth nosing from a dram glass, like you would with aged spirits.

To get your hands on one, purchase it directly from Compendium at $88 for a 500ml bottle. It's also available as a cocktail kit for $88, inclusive of a 250ml Straits Vodka bottle, their own Kopi-O Liqueur, Vermouth, milk, sugar, a jigger and a shaker. The kit contains enough to make four Vodka Martinis and three White Russians (with a Singaporean twist).

If they keep releasing spirits with this level of craftsmanship and with such local flair, we can't wait to see what Compendium comes up with next.